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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reading Through the Bible in 365 Days



I have been using an excellent reading plan to read through the Bible in 52 weeks, a year plan.  I love it for several reasons related to the way it is organized and recommend it for those who want to find a stimulating approach to reading through the Bible.

On the website, you can get the downloadable pdf at no cost.  The pdf has a chart with 52 weeks along the side and along the top the seven days of the week.  Each block in the chart has a little box you can check off when you have completed that reading, so if I miss a day, I am not necessarily tied to the days of the week listed along the top.  I can just check the block I complete and the next time keep going where I left off.  I may not finish in a year, but the chart allows me to follow along and keep track of myself in an orderly manner.  Instead of a year I can think of it as a 365 day plan.  I like that I can relax and not stress about making sure all my days are filled.  I spend a lot of time in the Word with Bible study and Sunday school preparations and our church home group (which we call care groups) study and my favorite devotional that I don’t want to give up, all while reading through the Bible in a year.  So the set up gives me more freedom rather than more stress.  I like that.

   Above each day, the readings are broken up by Bible sections, Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, and Gospels.  What fun it is to read through the Bible this way.  Each day I read a different section of the Bible so when I hit a spot that is tougher to read, I am not bogged down.  It makes it much easier to read with enthusiasm even the long lists of genealogy  or the difficult trials of Job.  The next day I will have something different to look forward to, but I am also eager to get back to finish where I left off in these heavier sections the next week.  They are far enough apart not to be so weighty all at once, but close enough to keep the flow of the text.  And I have a tendency to want to just review briefly what I read from that book the week before, so I get an extra blessing of holding onto the text a bit more than I might if I was reading straight through.

Since I am using my study Bible in which I am supposed to place chapter titles as I study, I am using this opportunity to think about the themes of the chapter and record them as I go.  There is always so much to be gleaned from each reading of the Word of God.  I appreciate the challenge of considering the theme in each chapter and not having it given to me.  The more I think on the Word of God, the more I allow the Lord to shape me and transform me into the likeness of Christ.  That is my prayer and I know I have a whole lot of transforming left to have done.  

I am always delighted about what God has for me when I come to Him with open heart and open mind.  Another thing I really like about this particular Bible Plan is that I am always excited to see what the reading for the day will be and what God will be teaching me today.  I know that attitude is a gift from God as well, but it is a gift He is readily willing to give to all who ask.  I pray today you will seek and receive your delight in and from the Lord.  
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quiet Time with my Lord




I am again participating in Five Minute Friday on Sunday.  Oh well.  


Today's prompt is 'QUIET'.  Here goes:




“Amazing grace, How Sweet the Sound...”  My alarm breaks the silence of the sleeping household.  I turn it off and again it is quiet.  Swinging my legs over the side of the bed, I rise slowly and plod to the bathroom for my usual morning routine.  Dressed for the gym, I descend the stairs to feed the cat and dog who wait in eager anticipation, the mewing of the cat now breaking the quietude.  


Then, with coffee now in hand, I sit ready for the quality quiet time so necessary for me to be who I desire to be this day and every day, the follower of Christ bathed in the necessary time with my God.  Oh how I need this time.  No one else is up.  It is just me and my God.  Sometimes I feel His presence and sometimes I just know He is with me, though the feelings I must wait to follow the knowing.  Always He is meeting me and growing in me what I need.  Quiet time with my Lord, the most precious time, makes all other times all the more precious as well.

(Five minutes up.)

Finding quiet is not always easy but it is oh so necessary... for my sanity.  It is oh so necessary for my well-being  It is oh so necessary for me to walk in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord.  I need that time of quiet with my God, and I highly recommend it for all who desire the peace of God.  A world of delight opens before the one who will seek delight in the Lord.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Will Praise Him in This Storm


I will praise Him in this storm, for He is my refuge and my strength, a very present help in trouble.  God is sovereign.  Whom shall I fear?  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.  To whom else shall I turn?  There is great joy and comfort in the Lord.  In Him alone will I seek my treasure.  He is my Rock and my salvation.  In the midst of any storm, I am safe in the cleft of the Rock.

A Storm over Liberty


And what does the Lord require of me?

“He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah 6:8

We can rejoice in the God of our salvation and know that whatever He determines, He does to fulfill kingdom purposes.  If we align ourselves with His kingdom purposes, then whatever happens, we can look to Him for the answers and for the questions.  Lord, what do you want me to learn in this storm?  Lord, where do you want me, us to go from here?  What’s next Lord? 

As we seek Him, His wisdom, His knowledge, we can then get excited about the answers and direction He provides.  No matter what is happening in the world around us or in our own little microcosm of that world, He is with us.  He is leading.  He is in control.  Yes, we can praise Him in this storm as we walk humbly with our God and greet Him with gratitude.

Part of my devotional this morning was Isaiah 12:

  
Thanksgiving Expressed 
Then you will say on that day,
“I will give thanks to You, O Lord;
For although You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away,
And You comfort me.

“Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.”

Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.

And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”

Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth.

Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

The Lord knew I would read this today. The Lord knew I would need this today.  The Lord knows His plans, and they are far above mine.  I will praise Him in this storm.


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Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Troublesome Unseen Roots of the Bradford Pear


I have not kept up with my blogging as I had hoped.  Here's an attempt to jump back in via Five Minute Friday.  Thanks Lisa Jo for inspiring so many including me.

http://lisajobaker.com/2012/11/five-minute-friday-roots/

Roots.  
I worked out in the yard yesterday, work that needed doing.  We had so many leaves that needed raking from fall and remnants of hurricane Sandy.  And there was the trimming of bushes for their dormancy through the winter.  The most problematic of my outdoor tasks, however was dealing with the ever troublesome, returning Bradford pear tree that does not seem to want to go away.  It’s roots are apparently very comfortable with the spot in which they were planted some 20 years ago.  So even though the tree fell years ago, during a previous storm, the roots continue to bear fruit, or plants as it were.  This tree continues to come up dividing fence posts, trying to kill another very nice tree which was planted to replace it, and generally making a nuisance of itself.   It was quite the task trying to pry each of its tentacles from their infestations and cut, cut, cut it away.  I have the sore muscles to attest to my fight with this monster.

How much this reminds me of what God is teaching me about sin.  You know you cut down the tree and even think you have dug out the stump.  But there are often hidden roots that will come back to haunt you in all kinds of ways you may not be expecting.  These roots may be invisible, they may be from plants long gone in your own life or in the life of someone else.  However, they can still bring forth burdens which have to be dealt with.

STOP.

I have since learned that this pesky problem with Bradford pears apparently is quite common.  The nuisance growth is called a sucker and those of us who have to deal with them are certainly suckers as well.  And those who plant the Bradford Pear are suckers for falling for its outward beauty without considering the long term implications of planting them.  We didn't plant them.  They came with the house.  But their allure is certainly understandable.  I am sure there are many life lessons, physical, spiritual, and horticultural, that can be gained by considering the Bradford Pear in more depth.