Lesson for today

Actually, I read this last night. I’m still in the middle of Believing God, by Beth Moore. This is from her chapter on “Believing God Can Sanctify Your Mouth.” Yesterday was a really trying day at work and I was not the most kind or loving in my responses to my coworkers. At the time I was just crabby, but later the impact of my attitude was felt further than I intended.

When I read this, I knew God was speaking directly to me about it.

[After a review of Numbers 13 & 14] “If you and I want to abide and flourish in our Primsed Lands, we’re going to have to get rid of some bad reporting, faithless talking, and negative grumbling. In the previous chapter we learned that words wield power. While God’s words are omnipotent, our words are potent because He created us in His image. We can tear down withour words or build up with our words. We can speak living words, or we can speak killing words. We can encourage , or we can discourage. The question is not whether our words affect; the question is how. Even if you’re a quiet person, you still communicate often through words and just as often through affecting words. (pp 156-157)

Here’s to a new day and an opportunity to speak healing and building words. “It can be done!”
 

Am I a “talker” or a “listener”?

I just read a comment Kari made on Everyday Mommy’s blog in which she included this quote:

“Can any of us say we know how to pray? Many books have been written on prayer, some of them helpful. For a time I was absorbed in reading books about prayer. But in the end I discovered that the best way to learn about prayer is to pray. And the best way to pray is to become a good listener and allow the Other to speak. We all have friends who dominate the conversation. Are you that sort of friend to God? After all, ask yourself, who has the more worthwhile things to say?” – Michael Card, Scribbling in the Sand (actual quote not verified by me)

Wow. I have been complaining over the last several months to myself, to God, to the occasional listener about just how hard it is to find people that will ask you how you are doing and then take the time to listen. I tend to be one of those people that take a long time to truly open up. By the time I’m ready to share what’s really going on with me, the conversation is a million miles down the road.

So, what I’m wondering…is that how God feels? I just take a few moments here and there, ramble on, ask his opinion, but then move on to the next topic without so much as a pause in breath? Do I really take the time? Or do I rush on by so I don’t feel silly, or maybe I’m afraid He won’t answer? Maybe it’s time to give Him a chance to get a Word in edgewise…
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My Favorite Thanksgiving Things

Taking FlyLady’s example, I’ve decided to list a few of my favorite Thanksgiving things:

  1. That perfect single bite that contains a juicy piece of turkey, my mom’s gravy and some cranberry jelly.
  2. Pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream
  3. Mom’s FriChik stuffing
  4. Hours of family time with no thought of work
  5. The Wednesday night before – the anticipation of four full days off ahead of me.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving things?
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Book Review – Halos – Rating 4 out of 5

Halos, by Kristen Heitzmann

Content: 3
Writing Style: 5
Re-readability: 4

Overall, this was an enjoyable book to read. For me, Christian Fiction is the best kind of brain candy. It’s guilt-free entertainment.

Content – One of the things I like about some Christian Fiction writers (Francine Rivers, Dee Henderson) is their ability to weave examples of real Christians into their story lines. Unfortunately, sometimes I get the feeling that Christianity is just used as a backdrop, rather than being the focus. That’s fine and all, but not the kind of book I really like to read. There was some spiritual journey for one of the main characters in the book, but it wasn’t particularly inspirational to me. When I leave a book feeling enriched and inspired…that’s content.

Writing Style – I did enjoy the way the book was written. She’s good at suspense and mystery. It kept me reading later in the evening than I should have sometimes. That’s a good sign. 🙂

Re-readability – I would have nothing against reading this book again other than that I’ve just read it. I will keep the book because it is good enough to read again, but I won’t say that I plan to revisit it more than once.

Tower of Refuge

Psalm 9:9-10 – The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you.
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Dag Hammarskjold and an Army Chaplain

Since I put a stats counter on my site just for fun, I have been led a little more obscurely through blogland. Today I found the blog of an Army Chaplain who is currently stationed in Iraq. I haven’t read a whole lot of it so far, but he shared a quote from Dag Hammarskjold, who I’ve heard of but have not read.

In light of my recent TLT studies, I am amazed (though shouldn’t be anymore) how much God speaks to me through any area I am open to. This afternoon it was this quote:

Seek-? Seek by daring to take the leap into unconditional obedience. Dare this when you are challenged, for only by the light of the challenge will you be able to see the crossroads and, in full awareness of your choice, turn your back upon your personal life- with no right ever to look back….

You will find that the freedom of the continual farewell, the hourly self-surrender, gives your experience of reality the purity and clarity which signify- self realization.

You must find that obedience requires an act of will which must be continually reiterated, and that you will fall, if anything in your personal life is allowed to slip back into the center.

This is some pretty powerful stuff. I’ve added his book to my wish list, and may well be adding it to my 2007 Book list. It’s probably too late in the year to add it to the 2006 List.

Happy Sabbath everyone!
 

My Celebrity Collage – Part 2

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My Celebrity Collage – Part 1

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Tender Hearts and Laws & Regulations

Ezekiel 11:19-20 – And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, so they will obey my laws and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.

Singleness of heart – I really want this. Feeling torn about my priorities, intentions, goals, plans, shoulds, shouldn’ts. A promise of being given singleness of heart. I want to claim this.

A tender heart = willingness to obey God. I’ve always associated laws and regulations with hearts of stone. How did we get this so messed up?

This passage is filled with the yearning of God to be connected with us. Will we listen and let him fill his promises?

Eat at home


My verse of learning today:

1 Corinthians 11:20-22 – 20 When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. 21 For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. 22 What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God’s church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this!

My new revelation today was in this verse I studied in my TLT lesson this morning. I have been searching for a church to make my home in, so I’m interested in all verses about meeting together.

The first a-ha moment here was that the Lord’s Supper is Jesus trying to tell us that we have to digest him (the Word) on a regular basis. Because I forget on practically a daily basis the things I have learned before, I need to continue to go to him (daily and more even!) for a refill.

The second wasn’t really an a-ha as much as a “wow.” Since I don’t think this was entirely about bread and meat and cheese, I will venture a guess that Paul was telling people that church is supposed to serve a purpose other than being spiritually fed. We are supposed to be responsible for getting our own spiritual food and drink during the week, and church is where you care for those who do not have food of their own. It’s to be a time to share what food you’ve been given.

I think too much demand is being put on the church (as an organization) today to be the source of spiritual feeding. Yes, the church body will very often (and rightly so) be fed while meeting as a congregation on the Sabbath (or Sunday), but it should never be the sole source of nourishment, and should not be expected to feed you so much that you don’t get hungry again until the following weekend.
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