Christmas was different this year for our family. As a follow-up from my last blog entry, my husband and I went shopping to buy our girls gifts to place under the tree with the unexpected money we had received. We found nothing. Literally-nothing. Nothing seemed right. No matter what we could put into a wrapped boxed... a pair of jeans, that new perfume they wanted, the electronic game...it all seemed empty. We walked out of the shopping center with gift cards instead. There were no presents under the tree. We really felt burdened about the meaning of Christmas in our house and how we needed to honor it this year. So this year each girl received a stocking with candy, make-up items, the gift card, and one special gift God laid on my heart. Joe and I felt so strongly this year that the best gift we could give our girls was the gift of having a relationship with God, a real relationship.
Now you and I know that Joe and I cannot give this to them-so as parents how do we encourage this? This is something they have to accept from God himself and as parents we can plant the seed. We both have come so far with God and it is only because of the time we commit to Him each morning and through the way we try to walk our life each day. Though we are not perfect, we are changed. Our life is secure in Him. We want our girls to have that.
So each girl received a journal in their stocking and we have encouraged them to journal a piece of scripture each day. The more they spend in scripture, the more they will get to know Him and the more He will become a part of their life. Though each girl has accepted Christ as their Savior, their lives are their own. They don't seem to include Him in much. So we introduced a discipline to them. Though we have planted rewards for them if they do this, it is up to them to accept the challenge we presented before them. We know in the the end, the ultimate reward will be the discipline of spending time with God.
Years ago I was introduced to the "S.O.A.P" method of journaling scripture. I have taught it to women at several conferences I have been involved in. I was attracted to it I think because it was similar to the old way of charting we did in the medical field in the 70's & 80's. I introduced this to our girls and I thought I would share it with you. I still use this from time to time such as when I am between studies during my own quiet time. I do not know who the creator is to give them the credit. Maybe one of you will find this useful within your quiet time for 2009. Here is a condensed version of the S.O.A.P method:
~record the verses or verses you have read within your quiet time
~what is the verse saying? What is the message?
~How can you apply it to your own life?
~pray the scripture back
It is so simple but can be so powerful.
I can reflect back on 2008 and see it as the year of TRUTH. Every study I was involved in, every devotional lead me to the TRUTH of who I am in God and where He is taking me in this journal of life. It has been a most amazing year of growth, release, capture, renewal, and security. Like Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1-2), I am “rejoicing in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my [past]; I rejoice because God rescued me. No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides God; there is no rock like our God".
2009 holds to be a year of PRAYER for me (I recorded how I came to this here). I am excited about this journey and the changes it will mean for me and the continual molding of my Fathers hands. I pray all of you experience God in a profound way in this new year. I hope all of you have found that special piece of Scripture to carry you though 2009. Be determined to know Him better! I wrote Phil 3:10-11 in my girls journal covers and I will pray it for each of you.
Striving to live in the power of prayer~Pamela