Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where do we labor?

August 25, 2011

Philippians 4:3 yes, I as you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel…

It’s hard as women, wives and mothers to know how to balance our lives. It’s hard to divide up the 24 hours we are given each day, and to do it in the way that God would desire us to is sometimes even harder. Sometimes we want to be heavily involved in projects at church but God tells us that our time needs to be spent at home so we have to say no. Even knowing that will be no one else to come forward to do the task you are qualified for, you still have to say no. On the flip side, you might look at your life and think I can’t handle one more thing, yet, God will demand you accept a position or task at church. So you do. In this verse it specifically that there were women who labored side by side with Paul. Whatever their duties at home might have been they at least had time to work for the gospel. I think that it is easy to use our busyness at home as an excuse to avoid working in the church, but we cannot do that. There will be times when God will keep us from working; however, I think that there will be even more times that He will want us to work. The church is who He sent His Son to die for; it is the means that we show the world who He is, so it is very important. And it requires us to work at it; even when we would rather be doing something else.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cheerfull and Willing...

August 24, 2011

Proverbs 31:13 she…works with willing hands

To be willing is defined as “someone who is cheerfully consenting or ready.” This is how God says I should work. I’ve become somewhat skillful in making myself do what is necessary because I have to. Yet, am I willingly doing to work; let alone cheerful about it. No, I’m not. I think this is a HUGE piece of this puzzle that I’m missing; a very necessary piece. I don’t want to go through my day, for the rest of my life, trudging along with nothing but endless piles of work facing me. I’m getting depressed just typing that sentence. The work will always be there, it’s just a fact of life. Yet, I wonder if I attacked each day willing to work with cheerful readiness, would I look at things differently. It’s something to think about, isn’t it?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Whose work?

August 23, 2011

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established

When I first read this verse I really had to think about it a lot.  In fact several days went by and I was still thinking about this verse and its meaning. I don’t know why really because this really is an easy sort of verse to grasp or is it? Is it as simple as committing your work to the LORD or does it involve something more complex. John MacArthur in his study bible says commit is “a sense of total trust and submission to the will of God…” and that submission will bring about the fulfillment of your “righteous” plans. Commit is defined as “to give in trust or charge. Established is defined as “to install or settle in position.” This isn’t just a simple I give MY WORK, the work that I decided on, to the Lord, and He will make it all work out right in the end. No, it’s more of a soul searching, isn’t it always, to see what is the work God would have us to do, then committing that work to God. He won’t establish work that He hasn’t designed for us to do. He won’t honor our work in an area that He doesn’t want us to be in. Perhaps that is where some of our struggles with work come from; perhaps we are engaged in work that isn’t in God’s plan for us. That would mean that we were battling both the work itself and our knowledge that God doesn’t want us to be here anyway. No wonder sometimes work is hard. Not to say that when we recognize God’s plan and start working in that area everything will run smoothly, chances are it won’t; the work will still be hard. Sometimes where God wants us to work is the last place we want to be; yet, for this verse to be fulfilled in our lives we must commit to ANY work that God desires in our lives. Through that commitment our plans, whatever they are, will be established.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Worthy Pursuits...

August 22, 2011

Proverbs `12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense

God definitely doesn’t want His children to be idle; he deeply wants us to be involved in a work that He has given to us. For me that’s homeschooling my children, taking care of our home, and helping Terry in the family business. Is this what I had planned for my life, not really, but this is what God has planned. Pursuing worthless things can be a hard thing for me to overcome. It is sometimes easy for me to be sidetracked by other more fun or interesting adventures than homeschooling, yet here God tells me that this is proof I “lack sense.” Sounds funny right! But I don’t want to look back on days where I choose the least important thing to pursue.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011


August 21, 2011

Psalm 28:4 Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward

As my family and I take a small break from what is our normal life, I’ve decided to spend some time preparing myself for what is to come. When we return, my children and I will begin our fall semester of home school, and although we have done some school this summer, we will begin in earnest after Labor Day. Homeschooling is a tough endeavor; basically it’s just a lot of constant work. Of course I could write on and on relating to you all the great things it’s doing for my family, how much I have really enjoyed being involved with my children like this. All these things are true but I feel like being really honest; it’s just a lot of hard work with hefty consequences. So, that being said I want to learn from God’s Word what He has to say about working hard. I did a word search with my bible app (handy tool that is!) there are many references to work. As I was scrolling down starting in Genesis I already notice one thing…God has lots of things to say about work!! I stopped at this one because I was confronted with what it said to me. What do I ultimately want from HS and what am I willing to do to get it and perhaps the most important…am I willing to accept the consequences of doing it wrong, better stated lazily. “Render their due reward…” never doubt that I will receive a reward from HS; will it be a good one or a hurtful one. That is up to me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Stormy Winds...

August 19, 2011

John 6:16-18

V 18 Then a high wind arose and the sea began to churn

How many times are we just walking through life cooking dinners, raising children, doing laundry, picking up toys from the living room floor, going to work, all those things that just make up our day when WHAM! from out of nowhere a trial will come and sweep us off our feet? We don’t see it coming; we don’t have time to prepare, it’s like a freak summer thunderstorm that will blow your life around. At that moment perhaps we freak out, perhaps we wonder why God is bringing us through this pain; perhaps we even wonder how we could have missed this coming into our lives. I doubt that we praise Him, or at least it takes me a while to remember that all things are for my good, and all things are worthy of praise. I had such an experience recently in my life. It completely blew me off my feet; I’ll never forget it. Yet, I can sit here many months later and praise God for it. It was an answer to many prayers; it was also the way in which I learned so much about God. I would never have believed that this would be how God would choose to work but He did. Would I want to walk the path again? Maybe, maybe not, but I know that God would hold me if I did!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Lost Days...

August 18, 2011

Today is my 200th post on this blog. While on the one hand that sounds good, but I decided to do some math (crazy for me I know.) I started this blog last July so I have been writing my thoughts about God’s word for a little bit over a year. So that means I’ve had roughly 395 opportunities to daily pursue my relationship with God through time in His Word. Yet, I have only used 200 of those opportunities, and I have let 195 slip through my fingers. I let other things like sleep, lack of preparation, anger, sadness, sickness, you name it, steal form me those priceless opportunities. I will never know what God had for me to learn on those days when I choose not to meet with Him. I will never know what prayers failed to be prayed because I didn’t have a quiet time on those 195 days. Some might think 200 sounds ok, and I guess it’s better than 0; yet, I can’t help mourning for those lost days. I hope that this time next year I can have a much larger number…may God help me with that!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Going Away...

August 17, 2011

John 6:14-15

V 15 He withdrew again to the mountain by himself

I am always convicted when I am confronted with the fact that Jesus went alone by himself. I’m sure that He did not go for a little “me” time; I’m sure that He went to be alone with His Father. He longed for and missed having time with Him. So, He made a point to leave and go alone without the distractions of His earthly ministry to devote some time alone with God. This is hard to do, and the reason it’s hard, is that we have to constantly battle our flesh that doesn’t want this. However, we know, because there have been times when we were faithful to this in our lives, that when we make a regular habit to “withdraw…by ourselves” and get alone with God; our lives run so smooth. We are able to count the blessings found in each day; we are able to look for and find the happy even in the midst of pain. Why then, and this is always the great mystery to me in my life, do we not make more of an effort to “withdraw…by ourselves”, if we know that it will only make our lives better and be totally worth the effort.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Leftovers...

August 16, 2011

John 6:10-13

V 13 So they collected them and filled 12 baskets with piees from the five barley loaves that were left over by those who had eaten

Some years ago, probably right after I was saved I heard a sermon on this passage, and what the pastor said has always stuck with me. He said that as the disciples were gathering up their leftover food they had their own basket as proof of their unbelief. When faced with the impossible situation of feeding so many people, they failed to turn to the only ONE with any power to help them, Jesus. After He performs the miracle of feeding 5,000 people there are leftovers. I think it’s safe to assume that the leftovers were there for a purpose; I’m satisfied that if Jesus could produce many meals from only one, He could make sure there were just enough and no leftovers. Unless, of course, those leftovers were for a purpose, like these were. I wonder what the 12 disciples were thinking as they were gathering up leftovers and thinking that not only was Jesus able to produce enough food to feed so many He produced more than enough. We cannot, however, just sit back and berate the disciples for their unbelief because we are guilty of the same thing. Have we ever uttered the words, “All I can do is pray…” or “We just have to leave it in God’s hands…”, as if the only real chance for getting what we want is if we have our hands on it or our strength behind it. When the truth of the matter, for us and for the disciples, is the first and best place to go is always Jesus.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Being Willing...

August 15, 2011

John 6:7-9

V 9 “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish…”

This is certainly a well known story where Jesus preformed an amazing miracle, and as I sat down to read this morning I had a totally different spin on this morning’s passage. Yet, as I read verse 9 I had a sudden thought about the boy who had the original food. All we know is that scripture calls him a boy, what age that might mean is uncertain, at least to me. Yet, this boy willingly gave up his only food so that others might be able to eat. The disciples, even living and following Jesus daily and seeing all his miracles, never gave a thought to what Jesus might be able to do to feed so many. Yet, this boy just gives over his food. I wonder did he have faith so strong that he knew Jesus could miraculously produce food for so many and that being the case was confident he would not go hungry or was he just a kindhearted boy who didn’t want to have food while so many around him was without. Either way I think it speaks volumes that this “boy” whom we know so little about played such a pivotal part in Jesus’ miracle. Of course, Jesus could have produced the food from nothing, but in His sovereign wisdom He chooses not to. The same is true today; Jesus can choose to work alone to produce His Father’s will but often times He chooses to use us. Are we as available and willing as this boy to give all we have?

Friday, August 12, 2011


August 12, 2011

Psalm 42:11 Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him

As I was reading in Psalms today I came to this passage. In this Psalm the writer is depressed, sad and in need of comfort. Apparently those around him are commenting and asking, “Where is his God?”, and if he is in need why isn’t He here. We all experience low points like this where we wonder why God isn’t delivering us from this vast wasteland of turmoil we are in; we wonder why He isn’t hearing us. We all know that sometimes God has us in these places for our own good. We have been here many times. Yet, what I was reminded of as I read this Psalm was verse 11, “…for I will still praise Him.” Are we still praising Him? Or is He only worthy of praise when all is well with us? Again, what are our actions showing?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Failure to Ask...

August 11, 2011

John 6:4-6

V 5 …Where will we buy bread so these people can eat?

How many times have we asked ourselves…where will the money for this come or where will we ever find the time for all we have to do…or will the insurance pay for this medicine? I would say that this has happened many times to us in the season of our lives. In verse 6 the bible tells us, “He asked this to test them, for He Himself knew what He was going to do.” Jesus knew all along what His plan was for feeding the 5,000; He wanted to see if the disciples would turn to Him for help. After all they had already seen miracles done at the hand of Jesus, what is food for so many when you can heal a paralyzed man or turn water to wine? Yet, we know from the rest of the passage that they did not turn to Jesus. They did not ask Him to “create” food; they just concentrated on what they could do or rather not do. This is the same for us; we often never give God the chance to work in our lives because we are so concerned with what we can do, how we can solve our problem.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Come Away...

August 10, 2011

John 6:1-3

V 3 Jesus went up on the mountain and there he sat down with his disciples

Jesus sought time with His disciples; He took time out of His ministry to be with them. He wanted to do this, it wasn’t simply an obligation. How do we view being with the church? Is it an obligation that we fulfill or is it a desire to be with those who love the same savior as you? Is it a desire to be with those who believe the same as you, instead of those in the world who will constantly battle you for your views and opinions? It should be all of these and many more. We should want above all else to be with our church family. Yet, this isn’t always the case. Many things can get in the way of our worshipping with the body; our lives, our sin, our flesh, even our dealings with the people that make up that body. I would even go so far as to say that even if we are physically present we are often not mentally or spiritually present. It is hard to put aside our-“selves” in order to worship with our fellow believers, but if Jesus during His ministry on earth could “come away” and “sit” with His disciples shouldn’t we do the same.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Where Do We Recieve Glory?

August 9, 2011

John 5:31-46

V 41 I do not receive glory from people

Is that what we want? Is that what we base our decisions on…the glory and praise of man? Is that what motivates us; or what keeps us from living a life that is totally God centered? Do we fear man? Yes, of course we do, it’s a major reason why we refuse to obey God sometimes. Jesus of course did not need the glory of men, and He did not do things that would grant Him that. Instead, He did things that made Him very disliked, hated even, but glorifying His father was more important to Him than the love of man. Doing His Fathers’ work was more important. Can we say the same?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Be Prepared...

August 8, 2011

Proverbs 31:27 …does not eat the bread of idleness

I must admit that the taste of idleness is good to my lips. I am by nature a true procrastinator. This I know is sin and true to the character of God, He will work to rid His children of their sin. I know that God has been working on this in my life heavily for the past year of so, and even more so in the past few weeks. I have learned that only in being prepared will I ever be successful in what I hope to accomplish. This is never truer than in our home schooling. I can only expect my children to be successful to the degree that I am prepared. I know, because I have done this, we cannot go up to the schoolroom and do well that day if I am not prepared. Consequently I cannot be prepared if I have eaten the bread of idleness. I want to be successful at all that God has given me to do; I want to know when I lay my head down at night that I have given my all to my responsibilities, yet, to do this I must give up my taste of idleness. This is hard for me. I know that there some overachievers out there that will not understand this, but for me it is true. We all, everyone of us, have areas that are hard for us, that we must battle our flesh for, we should expect that God would want us to rid ourselves of them, and He will accomplish this by bringing it up in our lives constantly.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I Really Can't Do Anyting On My Own...

August 6, 2011

John 5:20-30

V 30 I can do nothing on my own…

This is true. However, I think that sometimes we use this in a prideful way. How can we make this statement that is obviously giving credit to someone more powerful than us about ourselves? Well it’s pretty easy; we are sinful creatures aren’t we. It is easy for us to take the godly and warp it until it’s all about us. We can’t go into an impossible situation, whatever that situation is, look at it and say to ourselves and God (and maybe others) I can’t do that. To know that the only way we will be able to walk through the fire is with God holding us in His strength. Nothing wrong in thinking those thoughts, they are true and God glorifying. The problem comes in the victory. If we are given victory over whatever problem we faced then we say “Look what I did…” while tacking on at the end a “with God’s strength”. When the truth of the matter is, we didn’t do anything, God did it all. I think that we sometimes think that God takes what we may have within ourselves and adds some of His strength to make up the difference, and then we can walk in victory over our trials. When actually it’s all of God’s strength that got us to victory and nothing of ourselves, when we are tempted to say look what “me and God accomplished”; we should remember that “we” didn’t do anything…God did!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Search Me...

August 4, 2011

Ephesians 1:9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose…

I was recently confronted with something not quite right in my life. I had assumed that I had grown enough in my Christian walk to understand God’s will. What I mean by that is, I know that it is perfect, and full of only good things and that no matter how it might line up with what I want it is always best. Sounds good right, sounds like what every believer should want in their lives. I have a great amount of head knowledge on this topic, and I have in my life lived this, trusted this, and was given great peace because of this principle. Yet, yesterday I was reminded that I am not perfect and should not assume that a lesson once learned won’t ever have to be relearned. I have been praying for something very specific. I have prayed that God’s will be done in a certain situation, yet, in my mind I could only see one outcome to the problem. Therefore that would certainly be the one that God would choose right? I mean I prayed for God’s will, but in the back of my mind I KNEW that God wouldn’t pick the other choice, right? This of course was sin. This was wrong; God is, of course, going to choose His will, not mine, no matter how I word my prayer. And I don’t really want Him to do otherwise. So, I will need great amounts of God’s peace, and grace to accept what might very well be His will in this situation. That’s ok because I know that He will provide it. This, I think, is a great example of why we must always be examining ourselves to see if there is any sin in our lives. I would never have thought I would try to presume how God would work out any situation, yet, there I was doing it. There are perhaps, most likely, other areas of my life where sin still lurks like a thief, and without daily asking for God to search me I will never find it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Casting Our Cares...

August 3, 2011

Psalm 142:2 I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him

As I read that this morning I realized how truly blessed we are as Christians. Now anyone with any sort of idol could sit in front of it, and proceed to tell their troubles to it. However, where the difference in our ability to do this to God is that He will answer us. He will answer us with His comfort, His strength, His peace, and His guidance. He is more than simply a sounding board that we can bounce our troubles off of. He cares for those that are His. How often do we only make use of the fact that we can tell Him our troubles and unburden our souls but never really seek His guidance in handling the difficulties that come our way? How often do we assume that we know what is best in every situation? Yet, when we find that we don’t and we find that we have made things worse we come running right back to God? Thankfully, He is always there.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Choice to Love...

August 2, 2011

Song of Solomon 2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his…

Fourteen years ago I put on a beautiful off the shoulder white lace dress at 6:00 in the evening and walked down the aisle to start what has been the best season of my life so far. I have never been so nervous in my life; not because I thought I was doing the wrong thing, and not because I thought something would go wrong. I guess it’s just one of those monumental moments in your life where you may not know exactly how your life’s about to change you just know it is, and it did, for the better. When I look back at the person I was on that day I walked down the aisle, I marvel at how much I have grown and changed. I marvel that that girl was really me. I have loved every day, every second of my marriage; I have never, not once wished I had not married Terry. I know that we were created by God to be together. Now, this isn’t a fairy tale so of course there have been arguments, and since I’m nothing if not emotional, they have been loud. We have laughed, we have cried, we have seen the birth of our three children…but above it all, we have chosen to love each other every day. I rest in the fact that love is not an emotion that one can lose but it is a choice that we make every day. We wake up and we chose to love the person we are with or we choose not to. I love that I can trust that Terry will always choose to love me, even when I’m unlovable (and I know myself, this is often), and he can rest in knowing that I do the same for him. When my children leave our home and search for the people God has chosen for them I hope that they will have seen our marriage as something to be imitated. I hope they will want what I have; they couldn’t have it better! Thank you Terry for the best 14 years may we have many, many more.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What Do They See?

August 1, 2011

2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ…

I heard an interesting quote yesterday…”All that many will ever know of God—really—is what they know of us” that was a hard quote to hear. Then it was immediately followed by the verse above. We, of course, know that we are God’s light, His “ambassadors”; there are many references to it in scripture. Yet, how often do we allow that thought to guide our everyday lives.  Or do we put our lives in boxes never letting God or His word to rule any of them but the box containing church? When truthfully it should permeate each and every aspect of our lives from how we act at Wal-Mart to how we conduct ourselves in business. One of the many things I admire about Terry and Nick is that how they conduct Precision Assembly is the exact same way they conduct themselves at church, in their home, in every situation. The reason for this is that these men allow God’s word to flow through and effect them; those men who work for them even though they may never darken the door to church are being introduced in God daily through the lives of these men. Reading God’s word takes more than simply putting your eyes on the pages; reading God’s word means you have to allow it to change you. If it never changes you; it will become stale to you and easy to avoid. How well do we live as “Christ’s Ambassadors”?