Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ABC's of the WORD..."W"

I'm at camp this week with our youth-pray that God will show Himself in a mighty WAY!! And hopefully this posted as scheduled. I couldn't miss stirring up the Word with Pam at Grey Like Snuffie and all you other bloggers in Christ!! You bless me so much with your individual posting so I will check in after we return.

I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. ~Prov 4:11-13 (NIV)
or in the Message translation....
Dear friend, take my advice; it will add years to your life.I'm writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way, I'm drawing a map to Righteous Road. I don't want you ending up in blind alleys, or wasting time making wrong turns. Hold tight to good advice; don't relax your grip. Guard it well—your life is at stake!

What a beautiful promise from God. I hope this message is translated to the teenagers this week at camp. May these verses also encourage you as you walk this day with your God!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Embrace Grace...Embrace Truth

Welcome to our blog Bible study of Embrace Grace: Welcome to the forgiven life written by Liz Curtis Higgs (author of "Bad Girls of the Bible") and hosted by Lelia. Everything in orange is from the author.

I posted chapter twos comments here. Today I have set this chapter to post and hopefully it worked. I am at youth camp this week, no computer, just lots of teenagers and hormones and hopefully a magnitude of God. Pray that He will make Himself know to these kids, that He will capture their hearts this week, especially my girls. They are so distant from Him (I can be selfish like that, right?).

This chapter is full of such rich scripture. "We can fall in love with Him all over just by opening the scripture". Isn't that just the truth? I hold my Bible in my hand and there is assurance, comfort, strength, hope...most of all there is love and forgiveness. This year I have been blessed to have a most wonderful lady come into our church and to be brave enough to stand beside me in the women's ministry. Our hearts are in unison when it comes to our Lord. We can't get enough of Him, do enough for Him, love Him enough. We are doing a Bible study together from Jerry Bridges book "The Pursuit of Holiness and though we have only completed two chapters, it is tearing me apart and remolding my mind and heart to this one truth from I Peter 1:15-16 (HCS)
"but, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. "

Me holy? Truthfully, to me it seems impossible but as we know all things are possible through Christ. So we have begun this journey towards holiness, a journey we feel necessitates our leadership role in His ministry. It's embracing truth, embracing scripture, embracing Christ. And this blog Bible study ties in so well with this journey.

What place does God's Word hold in your heart? in your home? in your day-to-day?

As Liz writes... "the Bible simply isn't a book. It is a love letter." Yes, it has become the oxygen my soul need to live. I crave it, want more of it, cannot dig deep enough into it. In being in the Word, it makes me want more of Jesus, to love Him deeper, to hear Him better, to serve Him more fully, to walk beside Him every moment, and to become holy as He is holy and He commands that of us.

Job 23:12 (HCSB)
I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured
the words of His mouth more than my daily food.

Read aloud a verse of Scripture from this chapter that has challenged you, changed you, or comforted you. Why are those words specially meaningful to you?

Romans 8:38-39 (HCSB)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life,

nor angels nor rulers,

nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing
will have the power to separate us
from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
I am typing this portion at the hospital where I work weekends as a night nurse. I have a few moments of down time which has been so rare lately. Tonight I was at the bedside of a patient that was assigned to someone else. Her IV pump kept going off while that nurse was off the floor and I was the one that kept going into her room (It was a God-thing as you will see). After my forth trip in (each for a different reason-really, God kept calling back to her) I asked the patient what I could do for her and then she unloaded her anxieties and there wasn't just one. She was scared to die and she was worried about her estranged children. Then I looked down at her bedside table and there encased in a red leather carrier was a book. I asked her if it was a Bible and she replied yes. I then asked her if she was a women of faith. She again replied yes. Though our whole conversation would be too long to share here, I did asked her what God would want her to do with her anxieties. She stated she knew but I made her verbalize it- "cast all your anxieties on Him". She implied she couldn't so I reminded her of Deut. 33:12 in that "the beloved of the Lord rest between His shoulder" and that was what she needed to do. No matter how distant she was feeling from Him-nothing, no anxiety, no illness, could keep her from Him. That same principle applies to you and me. It is sometimes hard to swallow as it was for this patient, but it is His promise, strait from His Word!

If it's time to take the next step in you spiritual journey, how might God's Word help you move forward?

Psalm 25:5 (HCSB)
Guide me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation; I wait for You all day long.

Psalm 119:169 (HCSB)
Let my cry reach You, LORD;
give me understanding according to Your word.

And help me on this journey to holiness. As impossible as it seems to me, I have to EMBRACE THE TRUTH that is possible because His words states "you are to be holy in all your conduct". I'm afraid I've got my work cut out for me and for God!

Remember to pray for our youth camp!! Thanks!
His Maidservant~Pamela

Thursday, July 9, 2009

ABC's of the WORD..."V"

Stirring up God's Word with scripture with Pam at Gray Like Snuffie's MeMe...

He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight. ~Luke 16:15

To value something is to hold it in high regard, to be of worth, to esteem. So I challenge you to search your heart today and let God show you if what you value is in line with what He values.

Be blessed!!

His Maidservant~Pamela

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Embrace Grace...Embrace Faith

Here are my thoughts from chapter three in this blog Bible study of Embrace Grace:Welcome to the forgiven Life by Liz Curtis Higgs, hosted by Lelia. The author is quoted in orange. I pray you are blessed.

What does "faith in God" mean to you?

My mind began to swirl with responses when I first read this question. There are so many ways in which I could respond. However, my first response is that faith is believing but in reality, I have come to learn that it is more than just believing. It is a way of life, a way of living for me now. Liz states "Faith is not an act of man; it is an act of God, drawing us to Him". And that is what I have come to learn about my faith walk. It is about living to be drawn closer to Him, to seek Him in all things, all situations. It involved the heart and the mind-together. My whole faith walk has moved into different stages and this stage is currently a joy-filled stage. "Faith is not something you fall back on; faith is something you step into". How many times as we were growing in our walk of faith have we used it as a crutch to "get us though"? Awakening each morning we should be stepping into faith before our feet ever hit the ground. Not always an easy task and it takes determination and practice, like a toddler learning to walk. I have heard others say that they commit their day to God with special prayers before the get out of bed. A simple one would be "Lord this is your day, I am choosing to walk it with you".

"If you imagined Jesus looking at you, What might you see in His eyes?
I have a picture on my wall at home at the top of our stairs of the face of Christ, a replica of the "St. Veronica's Handkerchief" which was a celebrated painting by Austrian Gabrel from 1840. What is unique about this picture is that when you look at it, sometimes His eyes appear open, sometimes they appear closed. The legend is that if they are open He has found favor in you, if they are closed, well, let's just say, there is no favor. People, including my kids say the picture creeps them out because of how the eyes work. And it does work. Here is a sample of this picture...

Lately His eyes have been closed when I look at it and I would expect that response from Him right now. I am not meeting Him like I should be in our quiet time. Summer break has consumed me with so many other things I can't seem to avoid. He and I have also had this internal battle over a stronghold of mine for a couple of weeks now. I am not doing so good on my side of things. But, no matter where I am spiritually, I know my Savior has nothing but love in His eyes for me, even if they are closed in disappointment. He knows it all-knows when I am going to screw up and over commit and cheat Him of what He deserves. He understands how tough it is down here. I imagine He would say "Child you try too hard sometimes-just LET ME".

Since we cannot physically look upon the Lord's face, then where do we turn to "see" Him?

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy ~ 1 Peter 1:8

This has been one of my favorite memory verses this year. I understand the joy that is being talked about here. I mentioned it earlier. This year I have been learning to look for Jesus in everything. I am not as good at it as I want to be but I do believe He shows Himself in that way...through the words of a blog friend, in my devotional reading, in a persons actions or reactions, in that perfect scripture for that exact time in my life and definitely within His creations. I guess my main thought here would be: He's everywhere and we need to train ourselves to see Him!

As Jerry Bridges states in his book "The Pursuit of Holiness, "we have misunderstood living by faith". More than anything, we are to see that sin, all sin (for sin is sin, there is no degree of severity to sin in god's eyes) grieves our God and that should grip our hearts and change our attitude to make us more aware of our actions, our words, our thoughts. In return, we will allow our lives to be more Christ-centered and we will pursue holiness in our faith walk. Faith and ones personal exertion at holiness go together! Embrace Faith! Embrace Grace! Embrace Holiness!!

His Maidservant~Pamela

Next week I will be away at youth camp (pray for me). I will try to post the next chapter before I leave.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

ABC's of the Word..."U"

Here is my encouragment for all you following Pam at Grey Like Snuffie with this inspiring MEME of finding and posting scripture in an alpabet format. Stirring this has been, addicting this has become! Thank you Pam!
My be fully devoted, united. I give you these words of David from Psalm 86: 11-13 in several stirred, be convicted, and most of all, be blessed!!
New International Version:
Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.
Holman Christian Standard Bible:
Teach me Your way, LORD, and I will live by Your truth. Give me an undivided mind to fear Your name. I will praise You with all my heart, Lord my God, and will honor Your name forever. For Your faithful love for me is great, and You deliver my life from the depths of Sheol.
The Message
Train me, God, to walk straight; then I'll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I'll worship in joyful fear. From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord; I've never kept secret what you're up to. You've always been great toward me—what love! You snatched me from the brink of disaster!

His Maidservant~Pamela