Monday, September 30, 2013

It's my birthday, so as a gift to myself here's an extra verse today. It reminds me that suffering is not useless, it is God's way of restoring and strengthening me.

1 Peter 5:6-11
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Be sober-minded; be watchful.
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

One of my neurotic tendencies is to think I don't really belong anywhere. How wrong I am, I am a member of the household of God! Wow.

Ephesians 2:17-20
And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Don't be labored over in vain. Being a slave to all the goodies the world has to offer is nothing compared to freedom.

Galatians 4:8-11
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?
You observe days and months and seasons and years!
I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

A nice Psalm for a beautifully soothing day in Hume, Virginia

Psalm 111:7-10
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!
Bible Gateway Link

Thursday, September 26, 2013

We are safe. "There is none who can deliver from my hand;" God brought us Christ so that we would understand. He was crucified proclaiming this: "I am he."

Isaiah 43:10-13
“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me 
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am God.
Also henceforth I am he;
there is none who can deliver from my hand;
I work, and who can turn it back?”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I have a few rough places I need leveled. I also have my share of darkness, but the closer I am to God the more I understand this promise.

Isaiah 42:16
And I will lead the blind
in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I do,
and I do not forsake them.

Bible Gateway link

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My daily reading in the New Testament conveniently coincided with a piece by Michael Gerson in the Washington Post citing a magazine interview with Pope Francis. I've linked both below, both are worth the time. I think there's hope.

Galatians 2:19-21
For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

"Have you not heard?" Take heart. He is a great God, and he will renew our strength.

Isaiah 40:28-31
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,

and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

You may be holding on by a thread, perhaps you should let go. Trust. "He will come and save you." Saving yourself is God's job, not yours.

Isaiah 35:3-4
Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”

"Harass" is a good way to put it. I'm most certainly not the Apostle Paul, but I have chronic pain. I SO like the idea that it is a messenger of Satan harassing me. And it is written right here: "My grace is sufficient for you." I think I'll try believing that instead of in myself.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sometimes you just want someone to say Thank You! Thank you for doing the laundry. Thank you for providing. Thank you for making my life tolerable. God wants that too. Just make a melody with all your being and give HIM thanks.

Psalm 108:1-6
My heart is steadfast, O God!
I will sing and make melody with all my being!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great above the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
That your beloved ones may be delivered,
give salvation by your right hand and answer me!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I don't pretend to understand, but I know there is spiritual warfare. Be alert for attacks because they disguise themselves. However, we can survive and even prevail with the weapons only He can provide.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In memoriam.

Psalm 107:23-30

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end.
Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.

Monday, September 16, 2013

So you don't have time, or patience, or enough of whatever it is. What DO you have? Are you willing? Give that.

2 Corinthians 8:12

For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

We try to fill our longing and hungry souls with all kinds of things. There IS something that is satisfying. I think we should take this advice and give thanks for His wonderful works.

Psalm 107:8-9
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I can't help it, this is what my Old Testament reading is for today. Let's just say in my experience the Bible is always current.

Isaiah 19:1-2

An oracle concerning Egypt.
Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud
and comes to Egypt;
and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
and they will fight, each against another
and each against his neighbor,
city against city, kingdom against kingdom;

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm in Isaiah in my daily bible reading and this is what the Prophet Isaiah has to say about Syria in today's text.

Isaiah 14:24-27

The Lord of hosts has sworn:
“As I have planned,
so shall it be,
and as I have purposed,
so shall it stand,
that I will break the Assyrian in my land,

and on my mountains trample him underfoot;
and his yoke shall depart from them,
and his burden from their shoulder.”
This is the purpose that is purposed
concerning the whole earth,
and this is the hand that is stretched out
over all the nations.
For the Lord of hosts has purposed,
and who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out,and who will turn it back?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This doesn't need any comment from me.

2 Corinthians 3:17
My Granddaughter Clare

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Here again is the description of our Savior. He's not just going with the facts on the ground but with 'righteousness' he will judge. We can't just act properly, or say the right things. We need to BE the right thing. We need to turn ourselves over to God and let His Spirit rest upon us.

Isaiah 11:1-5
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A classic connection between the Old Testament and the New. By the way Isaiah is also filled with references to Syria. Just a few thousand years of conflict! There's no denying the Bible is always relevant.

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, 
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

"Act like men." This is turning into a theme. I say this with love: Men we need you!

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
Let all that you do be done in love.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I am so grateful for what Christ did on the cross. Being in this vineyard would be living in a world with God's love withdrawn. I couldn't bear that.

Isaiah 5:5-6
And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge,
and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall,
and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
and briers and thorns shall grow up;
I will also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.
Bible Gateway link

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Another thing I love about the Bible is how deliciously controversial it is. It's interesting to see some Christians ignore the parts they don't agree with and argue strongly for the parts they do agree with. I don't know, can we have it both ways?

1 Corinthians 14:33-35
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.
If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
Bible Gateway link

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I've heard it explained that here Christ is the beloved and his bride is his church, in other words, the rest of us. Wow, can't anything just be poetry? If it were just a love song, I'd sing this to my dear husband but he's not really the type to go out into the fields.

Song of Solomon 7:11-13

Come, my beloved,
let us go out into the fields 
and lodge in the villages;
let us go out early to the vineyards 
and see whether the vines have budded,
whether the grape blossoms have opened
and the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love.
The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
and beside our doors are all choice fruits,
new as well as old,
which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.
Bible Gateway link

Monday, September 2, 2013

God has you in mind for one of his jobs on earth. Don't belittle your gifts, use them. Not all of us should go to the third world as missionaries. Your mission might be right in your own family.

1 Corinthians 12:4-9

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

Bible Gateway link