Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Proverbs 19:17

He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. – Proverbs 19:17
It’s important to remember that when we give to those in need, we are also giving to God! Our heavenly Father notices every act of kindness. He sees every need that you help meet. Nothing goes unnoticed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I can do it myself! Jeremiah 2:13

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. – Jeremiah 2:13
This passage in Jeremiah mirrors the story in the Garden of Eden. Once again, mankind doesn’t want the tree of life, but they wanted their own version of the knowledge of good and evil with disastrous results. The first sin of forsaking the Lord means that we have to create an alternate solution for our needs. So we create our own cisterns to hold water, but our own creations can create new complexities. Do you feel that your life is too complex? Ask the Lord about this in prayer. Don’t be surprised if you find some self-made solutions that need to be dismantled in order to come back to the living water.

This scripture reminds of of a two year old screaming.... I can do it myself without you.  That's what we do isn't it.  Tell God, I won't trouble you I can do it myself.   But we don't have the wisdom we need, me must ask Him.  But we don't creating two errors.  Not asking God, creating something unsusttainable without his wisdom  We're so stupid sometimges. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Acts 5:42

Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. – Acts 5:42
Notice that they were proclaiming that Jesus IS the Christ, not WAS the Christ. They were experiencing the reality of Jesus on a day-to-day basis. What about us? Are we still remembering how God changed our life years ago? That is good, but if that is the basis of our walk with God, then we will find ourselves building a monument to an event. The good news is that Jesus is alive TODAY! Ask God to open your eyes to what He is doing now!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

This is my favorite scripture.  We all have talents and comforting is one of mine.  I love that God has chosen ways to comfort me and that in the learning of that comfort, I will be able to comfort another when the time comes.  

Lost a loved one? Had cancer? Had a miscarriage? Lost a job? Shared an experience?  When God offers comfort by placing some near us who has also experienced our need..... we get God with skin on. He comes even nearer to us.  I love this verse.  It brings me such comfort.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Deuteronomy 8:10

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. – Deuteronomy 8:10
Thousands of years after this verse was written, in the midst of a hard winter that killed half of their fellow travelers, the Pilgrims who settled America still had a lot to be thankful for. Just before they arrived, a plague had wiped out a hostile tribe that would have killed them. Fifteen years earlier, one member of that tribe had been taken to Europe, was taught English, became a Christian, and came back to America just in time to teach the Pilgrims how to survive. Thanksgiving is a reminder that we have a good God who rescues us in a broken world.

This scripture instantly said to me that we pray at the end of the meal and thank him that our belly is full.  A very different take from what we normally see done and I think a fantastic thing to try differently. 


I am richly blessed this week having spent 2 days in an Italian hospital.  I'm lucky, blessed and completely enriched that God has answered my prayers.  What a blessing, what a blessing.
I can't thank you enough God, there are just no words to convey the gratefulness I feel.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I don't know exactly what scripture as mine today, but I do know that this mone came to mind all day.
All can be done for the Lord witn only the faith of a mustrad seed. My faith is often small like that, but I want to  be bigger and so letting my faith be bigger right now be passionate, about my God right now in the little place that I can be.  it's important to me.  We have so much we could worry about right now, but we are taking the changes in stridge.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Colossians 1:10

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God – Colossians 1:10
According to Paul, truth is revealed by our lives, not just our thoughts. But the information age causes a problem: we think that because we’ve learned about something that we are living it. We want to gather data about prayer, but we fail to pray! But Paul reminds us that it’s the actual actions of our lives that proclaim the truth that we know. We know enough, now it’s time to apply. What do you need to apply today? Don’t try to get more information, do what you know now!

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

All these little nuggets are so important to me in knowing how to Grow in God and to please Him.  He makes it so simple.  I make it so hard!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Proverbs 3:27-28

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow”- when you now have it with you. – Proverbs 3:27-28
In many ways our view of possessions, time, and money is exposed when we are faced with the inconvenient needs of a neighbor. Yet many times God is in the inconvenient moments — the times that we don’t want to help someone around us. Sometimes it takes a disaster like a hurricane or earthquake to activate people toward acts of service for each other, but for the Christian the Scripture tells us to act now! As we do, we may be surprised that we find Jesus in the person that we give water to, or the friend in the hospital, or the needy neighbor who needs an act of compassion. When God gives you the opportunity to serve those around you don’t let it pass by!

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Judges 2:10

After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. – Judges 2:10
And so the book of Judges chronicles a people who turned their hearts from God, came under judgment, cried out to God, and were delivered. The only problem is that this pattern happened over and over again. One of the issues was that generations grew up who were not taught the ways of God. Whether as a parent or a leader in the church, are we empowering the next generation with God’s words and deeds, or are we protecting our achievements for our own satisfaction? The book of Judges stands as witness and a warning of what happens when the current generation does not take the time or energy to invest into the next generation.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

What do you think? Discuss at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hebrews 4:9-11 – a Sabbath-rest for the people of God

Hebrews 4:9-11 – a Sabbath-rest for the people of God

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. – Hebrews 4:9-11
Just like the other commandments, the Sabbath of Moses was a shadow of the Sabbath that Christ gives us. Jewish adherents celebrate Sabbath once a week, but Christ wants to offer Sabbath to his people everyday. Notice that we are to take great effort to enter the rest of God, because we are prone to take the burden of our work and our lives everyday. But to constantly wrestle with those burdens, willingly lay them down and rest is an action of faith and obedience that God blesses.

A friend of mine recently started doing this.  Willing putting away the daily work they would do and celebrate that God gave them the day to rest in him.  Pajama day, resting, doing little things but not all out work. They found it to be the most refreshing, family invigorating day of the week.  Following her lead we have done some of that same thing here.  It is unifying and gratifying that our God would induce our need to rest.  We sould take advantage of it and praise him for It

Friday, October 22, 2010

Philippians 1:3-6

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:3-6
So many times sincere believers feel anxious about where they stand in life. How do I know that I’m in God’s will? How can I be sure that I haven’t missed something along the way? Paul assures the Philippian church and the church today that God is ultimately in control. He is able to hold us to Him better than we are able to hold onto Him.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

This scripture is just what I needed to hear today.  I do hope he is holding on to me at the times that I don't know what I'm holding onto, I'm just holding on, hoping I'll only fall into the cup of his hand when I surely fall.  We are waiting for some big and important news right now, but it's just not going very fast, just not happening  and we are holding on, waiting to see what his will is.  Will we be happy when we get it?  Are we rushing the decision for nothing? 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. – Romans 4:4-5
This cuts us to our core. If we were honest, we want to work for our righteousness. We like the feeling of accomplishment as we figure out how to be in right standing with our boss, our spouse, or our friends. But the gospel tells us something very demeaning: we are not smart enough, strong enough, or good enough to be in right standing with God. This insults our intelligence, but maybe that’s the point. Maybe the gospel is not about our abilities, but God’s mercy. If the doorway to righteousness is humility, then this righteousness becomes available to any who are willing to receive. It is an equal opportunity message. It is also an equal opportunity revolution, for the gift that God gives has the power to change us in ways in which we can’t change ourselves.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

This hits me right at my core.  I'm a checklist girl.  But, I can't earn enough checks, I can only  allow the blood to keep me in righteousness.  So very humbling.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mark 5:30-31

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” – Mark 5:30-31
We may react to Jesus question in the same way as the disciples. Then we find out that a woman, who was ceremonially unclean and therefore not supposed to touch anyone, had risked death to come and touch Jesus. God the Father was making a statement. Maybe the crowds saw Jesus as a great teacher, but this woman saw something more. When her uncleanness met Jesus, she was no longer unclean. Jesus was greater than her defilement. He was greater than her fear. To approach God in prayer when we feel unclean, weak and fearful is an act of faith that can cleanse and heal us as well. This woman knew that Jesus was greater than all of her issues. Do we see Jesus in the same way?

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

Friday, October 8, 2010

Psalm 119:37

Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. – Psalm 119:37
This Scripture has more importance in our day than ever. How we guide our eyes in a visual age makes all the difference to the well being of our souls. Worthless things surround us. The sensuality of this culture is so obvious that it doesn’t need much explanation. But there are many worthless things that are not so obvious. How many hours have we wasted on the internet? Look at our habits when we have a television remote in our hand. What did it take to get to the 42nd level in that video game? Many times the key to cultivating the best in us does not occur during the work week, but how we handle our leisure time. To make God’s words a priority during our down time will preserve our lives from worthless distractions.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

John 1: 12-13

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. – John 1: 12-13
Many times we talk about our experience with God in terms of our decision. But the Bible places that moment in a rich context – we were brought to that point of decision by the will of God! There is a mystery here: we decided to follow Jesus because God gave us the right to decide. In no way could we create that right ourselves! This places us squarely dependent upon the God from whom all blessings flow. That dependence positions us as a child, and therefore an heir, to all that our heavenly Father has to give us.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about God and our own will.  We wouldn't BE without God so of course, he had to GIVE us the free will we use to choose.  So, the right to decide had to be granted and the choice had to be given.  My finite mind barely grasps this concept of "free will" versus "God's Will."   I prefer to follow under his law and so I choose to obey His will.  I could choose to not follow His law, but then He gave me that choice too.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Joshua 3:5

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” – Joshua 3:5
The word “consecrate” means “to set ourselves apart”.  Are we willing to believe that God will do amazing things among us if we set ourselves apart to be ready for it?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? – Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

No matter your status in life, there is no fulfillment without God.  I wonder this about people all the time who claim not to have "religion."  Having religion or not, having God, accepting God, is fulfillment.  It does make the day easier, the work more joyful, the food taste better, the drink quench the thirst.  Solomon had everything in the world, and yet was unfulfilled in his soul as he wavered back and forth in life and in God.  

I know what it is like to be unfulfilled in my soul.  To wonder why I'm doing this or that.  When I accepted the rich forgiveness of Grace, it changed my day to day gratefulness.  Everything is better.  When we are grateful to God for what he blesses us with, no matter what it is..... there is satisfaction.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hebrews 11:24-26

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. – Hebrews 11:24-26
The writer of Hebrews gives us an interesting twist: Moses suffered for Christ. But Jesus hadn’t been born yet! Yet how could a murderer like Moses interact with God? Only through grace! Jesus was in the burning bush, the cloud by day and fire by night. When Moses chose allegiance to God over the pleasures of Egypt, he was guiding all of us to our Savior. Even if that choice causes suffering, there is a greater value in the grace that Christ gives than anything the world can provide.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

Friday, August 27, 2010

1 Peter 3:15-16

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15-16
Have you ever met a Christian who was prepared to correct everyone around them but didn’t have gentleness or respect for those who disagree? In an age of reality TV we have lost the art of respectfully disagreeing. One of the things that I have come to realize is that it’s my job to answer those around me who ask about Christ, but it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to win their hearts. This keeps me from taking on the pressure to be right or win the argument. We can win the battle but lose the war for someone’s soul. Sometimes the greatest statement is how we endure ridicule or slander. Remember Jesus, who when He was slandered didn’t retaliate. Sometimes it’s our suffering that becomes our greatest witness.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

What a great scripture and this preacher's commentary is right on.  Respectfully disagreeing is a lost art in today's world.  It's probably a lost art in my world.  I still harbor great anger toward some people who ridiculed and slandered me. I have great THOUGHTS of retaliation for things people have done to me.  If I followed Jesus example, I would put those thoughts away as He often explained that our thoughts can rule us if we let them.  God grants us the ability through him to release our disagreement in a gentle and respectful way with a clear conscience.  May God clear my conscience and bless me with better gentleness in the future. 

John 15:18-19

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. – John 15:18-19
One of the hallmarks of the Christian faith over the ages is that many Christians have been vilified for their convictions. When the Christians were thrown to the lions of Rome the spectators cried out, “Kill the atheists.” To proclaim allegiance to Christ was to be in rebellion to the deity of Caesar. This Christ allegiance compels us to engage our culture, but in doing so we expose the separation that the world around us has from God. That exposure is rarely met with open arms. At some point in our Christian faith we must draw the line and stand for something that will infuriate people. It is happening now in India, Malaysia, China, Iraq, Iran and, at a lesser level, even in the United States. But this is the path that Jesus took and He calls us to follow him. He chose us to break the holds of worldly conformity and to bring us into significance. We are chosen out of the world into our true citizenship; the Kingdom of heaven.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

This is so hard.  To be called out.  It's tough to be hated, so this scripture if very comforting to me.  I have been watching Creflo Dollar lately and I'm so impressed with his ability to call out sin as to what it is..... sin.  He's been doing it in a way I haven't seen in YEARS.  He is not placating or making nice, he is quoting scripture and calling out people.  He will be hated, because Christ was  hated.  When you call people out for their sins, they have a tendency to want to get back at you.  They want to stone you for not believing the way that they do.  They want to break your belief, find sins in your life that show you to be a hypocrite, which we all are.  They want to tear your eyes out.  But a few want to know......

I have been given the talent of encouragement and encouragement is a great thing.  But, it is very difficult when you have to encourage someone to leave a sin behind that they don't want to leave.  How to walk away when they hate you for pointing out and encouraging a new way that needs to be taken.  How to be there for them if they decide to change.

Monday, August 23, 2010

2 Corinthians 4:18

 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:18

Our world is filled with unsolved mysteries. How did the universe begin? How can it expand infinitely? What are sub-atomic particles made of? Science can only go so far until it collides into things that are not measurable. According to Scripture, we live in a miraculous world that ultimately defies explanation. Jesus tells us that there is a place where rust or moth can’t destroy our treasures. C.S. Lewis stated that every person we see is immortal. God gave us the Scripture and prayer because we need eternal reference points to navigate in a world that is passing away. Both the despair of our struggles and the ecstasy of our successes are temporary, so keep your eyes on that which lasts forever – the Kingdom of God.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org
I find this scripture, amazing, perplexing, comforting, enchanting and completely overwhelming.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Titus 1:15

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. – Titus 1:15
This passage is revolutionary in how we perceive the world around us! Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Does everything around you seem corrupt? Maybe the surroundings are not the issue. According to this Scripture we view things according to the condition of our heart. That is why we must guard our heart with all diligence, for from it the issues of life flow.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

I really like this scripture and commentary.  I had a point in part of my life where everything was corrupt including my heart and nothing did seem pure.  I scoffed at things that even sounded like they might be pure.  After all, I was SURE, I would never be guilty of the very sin I was committing.  If I could be corrupted, everything was corrupt.  However, once I gained and grasped, Grace and forgiveness, I began to see things purely.  Joy returned and so did my clean heart and view.  I love that God views me through Jesus eyes with compassion, forgiveness and purity.  Despite my impurities! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Proverbs 12:2

Proverbs 12:2 A good man will obtain favor from the Lord, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

I have a hard time with this one personally.  I don't like to be reproof-ed.  No one does.  It's how we learn the best lessons that we appreciate in our lives, but going through it is so tough.  I would rather have God's favor.  Afraid I wouldn't recognize it if he also didn't proof me at times. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Revelation 3:17-18

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. – Revelation 3:17-18

Prior to this passage the writer John calls this church lukewarm. How did they get lukewarm? By trusting in their wealth. They thought that money brings security, but they are advised to purchase things that money can’t buy; the fire of refinement, the white clothing of righteousness, and vision that only God can provide. We are not to confuse what the world calls wealth with what God calls wealth.
Today’s commentary by:Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor

In other words, don't love what you have.received, love that you received and blessed to be abl e to give it away.  I remember my parents doing this once to a bunch of stranded teenagers in Texas.  They were hitchhiking it across Texas and got caught at night with no ride and no clothes for the sudden cold snap.  He brought them into our garage for the night, set up pallets, heaters and snacks for them.   The next morning they fed them a huge pancaked breakfast and sent them on their way.  It was a great lesson for me.  

Another missionary told a couple friend of ours that they couldn't show the filmstrips they were sending because it was based on VCR and TV.  The person went over to the wall, unhooked his TV and VCR and sent it with the man.  It's a luxury to us he said.  Not to those people who might hear the word.  He could afford to get a new TV and even save up for one.  The mission was money strapped and if they had money, they wouldn't have sent for a TV. 

I learned my generosity from my parents, sometimes tooo generous.  But generosity is a gift God has blessed me with.  Using it wisely is the part with which I struggle.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Job 2:2

And the LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” – Job 2:2
In the midst of our struggles we can forget that we have an enemy that we don’t see. In this classic passage from Job, Satan identifies his stomping ground – the earth. We are in a battlefield that has weapons that are not seen, yet are very real. One of the roles of prayer is to step into spiritual warfare. Satan is prowling around like a lion, yet in Jesus Christ we have the authority to stop him in his tracks! Take some time today to pray and expose Satan and his schemes in our lives.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
This is a challenging Scripture, yet what an opportunity! For many people respect doesn’t come from the thrill of adventure, but the day-to-day life of industry. Are we seen as those who make our communities better, or those whose constant diversions make us a burden to our neighbors and co-workers? Make it your ambition to let your life speak louder than your words!

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,

This is a difficult subject and at the same time so simple.  When I was younger this scripture was use to get people to avoid political things. Live quietly, don't make a ruckus.  I guess some of that can be true, but living a quiet life of God is not timid.  It is boldly going forth with God.  Quietly doing God's will which at times is quite bold!  I should earn my own keep having something to do with my hands to keep me busy and not given to idleness which leads to other problems such as gossip, and envy.  You can win the admiration  of those not in Christ by going about your life in Christ. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

2 Timothy 1:6-7

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:6-7
The apostle Paul pulls no punches with his young protégé, Timothy. Even though Timothy was a timid man, Paul is reminding him that Christian leadership should not be based upon a personality type, but upon reliance upon the Spirit of God.

Each of us has gifts from God that He wants to use. Whether you are timid or aggressive, our hope doesn’t come from our temperament, but from a gifting that is waiting to burst forth into flames as we take the time to fan it. - thought by David Whitehead.

I absolutely needed this thought today when I have had lots of thoughts of my inability in service. I don't speak the language in the country I'm living in.  I don't have any friends here.  My husband travels all the time.  I am alone... save for the internet, I don't speak to anyone for days at a time.  But today, I read this.  Today i got an email from someone I influenced.  Today I talked to my friend via email and encouraged her.  Use the gift you have at the time you have it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ecclesiastes 1:16-17

I thought to myself, “Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. – Ecclesiastes 1:16-17
How many times do we need to watch an interview of a successful someone who tells us that once they “made it” they were more dissatisfied than ever? To think that achievement will bring peace flies in the face of current and ancient wisdom. As Ecclesiastes sums it up: the goal is to know God. Jesus promises to bring peace in ways that our greatest achievements never could. To lose that perspective results in a lot of wasted time and effort.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6
  To venture into the uncomfortable views of the Bible is greater than staying in the familiar patterns of our own understanding. This is how HE will make our paths straight.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. – Proverbs 3:3-4
This proverb gives us an important insight: always love and be faithful.  Keeping something around your neck and close to your heart as a constant reminder to be consistent in loving others will give us a good name to the most important One. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Colossians 2:6-7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. – Colossians 2:6-7
Remember the joy of knowing Christ because He first knew you. Don't forget how you first felt when you came to know him.  Look back to the work that Christ did in your heart.

As the reformer Martin Luther stated: “Christ plus nothing equals everything.”

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Romans 8:31-34

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. – Romans 8:31-34

I don't know that there is a more comforting verse in the Bible.  That God loved me so much that he didn't spare his own son that I could be saved.  That no matter what happens in this world, God is for me!  No matter what the Devil may throw at me, God is for me.  If I am oppressed on every side, I can still stand because God is for me. 

God is so amazing to include little nuggets of verses like this in our Bible so that we can KNOW and remember that He is FOR us!

Friday, July 16, 2010

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)
God’s eternal plan was to create a people for Him. This is more than an individual plan for our lives. God’s plan is a community. To walk alone is cross grain to God’s purposes for our lives. God mercy was not to enable us to do our own thing, but to get a new identity with other people who are called out by God. Now we stand before God as priests who are brought together, each with the same story of being called into light. If you don’t have that identity, seek after that community this week. Don’t miss this important part of God’s will.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Job 1:21

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” – Job 1:21
It’s interesting that Job, the oldest book in the Bible, is all about suffering and it’s purpose. Job wrestles with why bad things happen to good people, but one of the things that keeps his focus intact is the understanding that all of life is a gift from God. The question is not why bad things happen, it’s really why good things happen at all! We know that there are things that are good and beautiful, but many times that beauty isn’t realized until it’s taken away. But Job reminds us that even when life seems to disappear in the dust, that death is a signpost toward the One who loves His creation so much He will reclaim it. For those who follow Jesus Christ, there will come a day when that same God will take us into His arms. May the name of the Lord be praised!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Exodus 16:2-3

In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” – Exodus 16:2-3

The miraculous escape from bondage had just happened.  10 Plagues in which they were spared, the wall of water and chasing egyptians, the water from the rock, and still they grumbled with no faith that God would take care of them. 

Boy, I could be an isrealite and I have no where near the physical evidence to excuse me.  And yet, I have plenty of physical evidence that He cares for me and still I grumble.

Please forgive me for my grumbling, Oh Lord.  You are mighty!  You are faithful. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ephesians 1:18-19a

His incomparably great power for us who believe

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. – Ephesians 1:18-19a
Listen to Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus. If they only knew how much power they had available to them it would change their lives! This is rooted in doctrine but it goes beyond doctrinal understanding, the eyes of our heart have to be opened. There is a calling, an inheritance and great power available to every faith-filled believer. Pray today for the Lord to open the eyes of your heart to see it!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Matthew 18:10

Matthew 18:10 – See that you do not look down on one of these little ones

See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. – Matthew 18:10
Jesus reminds His disciples the value the He places on “these little ones,” in other words, children.

Children are important to God. “It may be God has entrusted the care of little children to a specific group of His angelic beings (their angels) who are in constant touch with the heavenly Father” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament Edition, Victor Books, 1984).

Jesus next demonstrates the importance God attaches to little children by giving the disciples the illustration of the lost sheep in Matthew 18: 12-14. After describing a man who searches for one of his hundred sheep, Jesus asks, “Will he not leave them and search for the one until he finds it?” He points out that in the same way God is concerned about “these little ones” and does not want to lose any of them.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4

Amazing how the Bible convicts me sometimes.  As if I'm not expecting to be slapped with my own inquities. I've read this verse a 100 times.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition..... I've done lots of things out of ambition.... is it Selfish?  If I read on it says that I should put others ahead of my own selfish ambition.  So, if my ambition is going to harm another, use them as a stepping stone to stomp on when I'm on my way, then it is wrong. 
There is nothing wrong with ambition, just how and what we are "willing" to do to get there. 

Thank you god for reminding me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Isaiah 58

 1-3 "Shout! A full-throated shout! Hold nothing back—a trumpet-blast shout!
Tell my people what's wrong with their lives,
   face my family Jacob with their sins!
They're busy, busy, busy at worship,
   and love studying all about me.
To all appearances they're a nation of right-living people—
   law-abiding, God-honoring.
They ask me, 'What's the right thing to do?'
   and love having me on their side.
But they also complain,
   'Why do we fast and you don't look our way?
   Why do we humble ourselves and you don't even notice?'

 3-5"Well, here's why:
   "The bottom line on your 'fast days' is profit.
   You drive your employees much too hard.
You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight.
   You fast, but you swing a mean fist.
The kind of fasting you do
   won't get your prayers off the ground.
Do you think this is the kind of fast day I'm after:
   a day to show off humility?
To put on a pious long face
   and parade around solemnly in black?
Do you call that fasting,
   a fast day that I, God, would like?
 6-9"This is the kind of fast day I'm after:
   to break the chains of injustice,
   get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
   free the oppressed,
   cancel debts.
What I'm interested in seeing you do is:
   sharing your food with the hungry,
   inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
   putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
   being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
   and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
   The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
   You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'
A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places
 9-12"If you get rid of unfair practices,
   quit blaming victims,
   quit gossiping about other people's sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
   and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
   your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
   I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
   firm muscles, strong bones.
You'll be like a well-watered garden,
   a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
   rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You'll be known as those who can fix anything,
   restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
   make the community livable again.
 13-14"If you watch your step on the Sabbath
   and don't use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
   God's holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing 'business as usual,'
   making money, running here and there—
Then you'll be free to enjoy God!
   Oh, I'll make you ride high and soar above it all.
I'll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob."
   Yes! God says so! 

 I was reading a portion of this scripture earlier today and it struck me, so I had to go and read the entire chapter so that I had it in context.  I'm going to be very honest here and say I am guilty of sometimes doing my own thing on the Lord's day instead of resting and dedicating it to him.  And I mean dedicating it in such a way as He has stated here.  Especially since being over here in Italy when there has been no church but the Catholic church to attend and that only in Italian.  We have been lonely and hungry for brotherhood in a language we can understand. 

But even though the world is big, we have a small neighborhood in which any of these things mentioned in this verse could still be accomplished.  Offering of food, giving of clothes, sharing of words.  I shrink away from people often here as I realize my frailty in the language.  That does not make me bound to a community and offer me the opportunity that God wants me to take. 

I loved reading this chapter today.  It really gave me a lot to chew on.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5
Meek in the Bible is not the same as weak. Meekness literally means gentle. It takes great strength to be gentle. Jesus is implying that the rule and reign on his earth is to be a gentle one. To show restraint is a sign of ruling over your own passions. To be faithful in this little thing makes us rulers over much.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

I like what he said.  To be gentle.  Gentle with others hearts, gentle with others beliefs, gentle with others until they come to believe.  Not weak with your faith, gentle with their hearts.  There are always loving ways to speak the truth until there is no resort but to walk away.  That's still gentle.  Justifiable anger is whole other issue.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Matthew 5:1-3

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:1-3
"Our culture has a “believe in yourself” attitude, but Jesus says to listen to our nagging doubts. A poor person says, “I don’t have what it takes. I need to go to someone who can help me.” Jesus is that person that we need to go to. We can’t do it ourselves. We need to become poor in spirit if we expect to have the abundance in the kingdom of heaven." Commentator POV

To become poor in spirit.  How do you do that? BECOME that way? He's telling us to do the opposite of our nature, which he tells us frequently.  I need to have compassion and understanding, which brings about love, which fosters Christ.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” – Malachi 3:17-18
Malachi spoke as a prophet to God’s people during a time when their national identity was being restored. The Jewish exiles had returned from Babylon to Israel, Ezra saw temple worship restored, and Nehemiah had rebuilt Jerusalem. Malachi is telling the people of God that the knowledge of God was again being restored. Even when the people of God seemed to be vanquished, God showed himself faithful again. The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of our God will last forever.

I'm so glad that His word lasts.  I need it.  I'm glad that the Lord wants to claim me as his own, after all the things I've done and will probably do again.   God is righteous and he wants me to be his righteousness. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Matthew 4:1-4

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:1-4
Notice the Scripture states that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert. In ancient times, the desert is equated with a place incapable of sustaining life. Matthew (with Luke and Mark) is stating that Jesus was going into a place where His only hope would be in God. Notice that the journey into the desert was the first act of Jesus ministry after His baptism. Do you feel like you are in a wilderness? We may think that we are being set up for destruction, but God is training us to live a life of dependence upon Him and not our surroundings. This was the path of Jesus and we should not be surprised that this is a part of our journey as well.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ecclesiastes 4:10

If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! – Ecclesiastes 4:10
We are created to live in community and engage in caring relationships with one another.

Should any of us falter, or have unexpected needs, a friend can come along to lend a hand. But when a person lives in isolation, too “independent” to need or help anybody else, he or she quickly discovers no one is there when trouble comes.

We need one another. Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves (see Matthew 19:19). Love for one another is not some passive feeling, but a practical response to a need expressed through “compassion in action.”

I love this scripture, it speaks to our need for friends.  Since living here in Italy, I have been severely lacking in friends.  I don't speak the language and it makes it even more difficult.  I think if I needed help I could go downstairs to the Super.  Tom loaded my phone with people from his work, but if I just needed someone on who I could rely..... well, it would just be Tom.  That is not a bad thing, because since being here, we have learned to rely on each other, a much needed lesson!!  God blessed me with this and I've fallen down plenty since being here and he has lovingly picked me up.

This scripture goes along with my absolute favorite verse, 2 Cor 1:4. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Psalm 3:3

But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. – Psalm 3:3
This psalm was written while David was fleeing as his own son, Absalom, was attempting to take over David’s kingdom. The emotions in this psalm run strong and well they should. Yet in the midst of this turmoil David cries out to God to be his shield. God is ultimately the one who lifts our head from our current circumstances. As we cry aloud God will answer!

Recently someone told me that he stopped praying and nothing happened.  He had prayed and suddenly realized that nothing really happened.  He began wondering if God was really there.  That deviation has taken him far off the track.  I believe Satan wants us to believe that we would cry out to God and he wouldn't hear us or do anything to help us.  But, here David clearly cries out and his cries are heard by God often.  God answered him clearly.  Make no mistake that God hears our pleas, cares and answers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Proverbs 15:32

He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding. – Proverbs 15:32
OH THIS IS SO HARD!  I've been disciplened and the normal reaction to be defensive and to give excuses or even lie to get out of it are the instant responses that creep to the top.  On the occasions that I have correctly received the correction it has been so much better for me.  I've learned and been blessed for receiving it.  Weird that you could be blessed for being corrected but it is true.  It causes us to be stronger, humble, and to grow.  I hope that I will continue to accept correction and not be the instant defensive.  I know I will be again, but I'm so glad that God gives us reminders like this verse. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

2 Corinthians 4:18

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:18
God gave us this Scripture and prayer because we need eternal reference points to navigate in a world that is passing away.  I'm so grateful he did.  Some days I feel exceptionally frail at seeing past the reality (unreality) of this world. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

1 Timothy 6:18-19

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. – 1 Timothy 6:18-19
Being selfish in nature, giving is meant to be a little bit of a struggle at first.  Pushing past it is the thing I have found brings you greater joy.  Once you start sharing what God has blessed you with, all of a sudden the blessings start pouring back to you.  I heard a preacher once say that "you can't out give God, just try."  Well, we did try and every time we increased, HE increased.  I don't like the preaching that we get what we give here on earth, because that seems to preach a payment mentality.  This scripture is clear that we are storing up treasures in heaven.  But, the part about taking hold of life that is truly life is the best part of the giving.  Whatever it is that you have to give, time, money, influence, do so courageously and with an open heart.  I'm preaching to myself here, saying it out loud so that I get it even more. 

Onward and Upward,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. – Proverbs 1:7
When we know that God will ultimately judge all of His creation for how we use the resources that He provides for us, we have the fear of the Lord. That proper reverence is what causes us to tell the truth when no one cares, to act honorably when no one sees. This is the beginning of knowledge.

I have been that fool that despises wisdom and discipline, trying to fake my way through situations or just arguing with someone when I already knew they were right.  I look back now and wonder why I did that?!  Growth from that is the Lord teaching me and I either wish to learn the lesson or continue to be a fool. 

The beginning of wisdom is much better. :0)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Psalm 119:161-162

Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at your word. I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil. – Psalm 119:161-162
The demands of a workweek can cause us to think that our employers or clients are persecuting us without cause. This can cause huge amounts of stress we feel that we are trapped in a “job rut”. But the Psalmist reminds us that God is over our affairs and not our boss. God’s word puts our workweek in proper perspective and frees us to work unto God and not unto men. What a blessing!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Psalm 119:147-148

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. – Psalm 119:147-148
The Psalmist is speaking here of guarding our prayer time with God. There are many things that can keep us from the Father. Many times these distractions are not overtly bad. A job can get too busy. Needed rest turns into hours wasted in entertainment. But we need to make sure that we make appointments with God that we keep. Find out the best time that you can give God and put it in your schedule book. You’ll be glad that you did.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Psalm 119:69-72

Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. – Psalm 119:69-72
One of the surest ways to gauge our true spiritual condition is by how we react when we feel misunderstood. When we feel like people are lying about us, do we try to strike back or defend ourselves? God’s word keeps our hearts soft and sensitive when we feel that we are attacked. The Psalmist gives us a way through the attacks from outside and even from within.

This is an important verse in times of trouble and a comfort in between those times.  I do have a tendency to try to defend myself.  But, after practicing this a few times, I've found that leaning on him allows things to work out without me getting in God's way and of course, it's much better that way. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Acts 2:43

Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.- Acts 2:43
Do you feel awe in your faith? Are you confronted by wonders and miraculous signs that God is active in the world today? This was the earmark of the first Century church and it hasn’t stopped since.

We were made for the awesomeness of God. English writers of the 19th Century talked often of the awful God – which back then meant “full of awe”. It happens with every life that comes alive to God’s word, every heart that is healed from pain, every life that is NOT healed and yet, miraculously, sees their suffering as a glory to God.

We live in an awe filled world. May God open our eyes to see it, and let it fill us!

Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17
It takes iron to sharpen iron. Sharpening a knife requires iron at least as hard as the knife. Once sharpened, a knife is bright, sharp, and ready for much more productive service.

I'm "working" in the craft world right now and while it is not iron.... creativity sharpens creativity.  Your peers influence you.  Peer pressure does not stop when you're in school.  Your peers pressure you at work.  Your peers pressure you at church... etc.  So you want to choose what is going to sharpen you.  You will be shaped by one thing or another, don't you want to be a sharper grade of iron to be used for the productive service of God?  

Rom 9:21
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?

I want the Potter to be the power over how I am to be shaped and for what purpose he wants to use me.  To sharpen me as iron, to refine me as silver to shape me as clay. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

1 Thessalonians 4:16

Knowing God
God is friendly. His track record proves it. In the beginning, he made
a garden. Not a cesspool, not a slum, not a crowded freeway, but a
garden, a nice place, where Adam’s every need was met. Adam
messed things up, not God. Adam got greedy. He wanted the one
thing he couldn’t have. Adam hid from God because of his own
character flaws. Even then, God came looking for him. God seeks us
long before we have the good sense to seek him.
Let the Bible form your image of God. He is bigger than the Bible,
but he uses it as one of the ways he reveals himself. Only, keep in
mind, the Bible is limited to words and God is not. Whatever you
imagine as you read Holy Scripture falls short of all that God is. He
is smarter than intelligence itself. Nothing can be done he cannot do.
Nothing exists he did not make. He can’t learn something new
because he knows all there is to know. He is not wiser today than he
was yesterday. Those omni words are so familiar to us they’ve lost
their capacity to amaze. God is omnipotent—all powerful.
Omniscient—all knowing. Omni-present—everywhere all the time
at the same time, in every place where it is possible to be. But you
probably won’t spot him in traffic. Not that he isn’t there, just that it
is too noisy. Eternal—beyond time. He lives in the past, present, and
future at the same moment.
God is other. Unique. Not like you and me. We strive to be like him.
He is the original. We are incomplete copies made in his image. God
is much more aware of the consequences of that reality than we are.
God seldom shouts. The day he does, creation won’t be able to
handle it. The world will end. For the Lord himself will come down
from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the
archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians
who have died will rise from their graves. (1 Thessalonians 4:16
Greg Cummings

Psalm 23:1-2

Psalm 23:1-2 – The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters – Psalm 23:1-2
The imagery of God’s leadership contains green pastures and quiet waters. Even if those pastures are located in the shadow of the valley of death, true leadership can give peace even in overwhelming circumstances.

It is the job of the shepherd to encourage – or instill courage – into the sheep to go down paths that seem treacherous.

Unlike the cattle driver, the shepherd leads from the front, going before his flock to assure them that they can make it. This is the type of leadership that inspires people and even empowers them to go places they would not go to on their own.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Luke 6:39-40

He also told them this parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” – Luke 6:39-40
Teens get in trouble by not using this verse.  Teens leading teens are equal to no experience leading no experience.  The wise teen seeks someone a little older to give guidance.  Someone who has been there.

The wise adult seeks someone who has been there.  Someone who has experience.  Otherwise, they fall into the ditch and climbing back up is harder for both.

Jesus came to earth to live this life and he is experienced all things as was common to man.  So, he is the one we can look to for guidance.  He also has provided Godly men and women for us to look to for guidance here on earth.  Those who have had experiences and can walk beside us.  (God with skin on).  We just need to ask.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Romans 12:6-8

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. – Romans 12:6-8
In today's world full of leadership books, where everyone should become some kind of leader or some kind of teacher, the other gifts get lost.  They are no less important just lost in what the world says is valuable.

I happen to have the gift of encouragement.  It is a blessing and I'm pretty sure I get it from the way my mother raised me.  A good friend of mine just wrote a book on being a good follower.  Not everyone can lead, someone has to follow.  Someone has to show mercy.  Someone has to encourage the leader.   Someone has to teach and if someone teaches, there have to be listeners.  In all of the talents and work to be done there have to be those who receive it, there have to be those who give it.  One without the other is nothing.  

There is no MORE important talent than the other, all are needed.  I think the most important part of this verse though is in proportion to his faith.  As our faith grows, so do our talents.  I don't have the same amount of faith I had when I was younger.  I have more.  I am more compassionate and can show mercy far more cheerfully now than I did when I was young and trying to keep "laws" and "rules."  I understand the growth process better. I understand the need to be an encourager and not try to be what the world thinks is more important.  I want to do what God thinks is important in me. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Proverbs 31:28-29

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” – Proverbs 31:28-29
"In a recent survey of what makes marriages last, one of the main factors was that each participant had a higher opinion of their spouse than the spouse did of themselves. This was part of the goal of the writer of the proverbs 31 woman. A woman could read this passage and wither under the comparison, but to look through the lens of the writer is to stand and bless them."

The person who wrote that totally gets it.  My husband does think highly of me, much higher than I think of myself.  I think very highly of my husband, I don't know how he feels about himself, but I suspect I think higher of him than he does of himself, because I think he's perfect.

I want to be a virtuous woman for God, my husband and my children.  I think I am.  I try.  All my children blessed me yesterday for mother's day.  God blessed me even more.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Proverbs 29:15

To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child. – Proverbs 29:15
There is lot packed into this proverb. The first is that, left to their own, a child will not go toward wisdom naturally. They must be mentored through boundaries that teach them the wisdom needed to function well with others. The second is that a child who is not lovingly but firmly raised with boundaries brings many uncomfortable and even damaging moments for their parents and those around them. Whether we were raised with many or few of these boundaries, celebrate with your mother the wisdom that she helped you to learn. You will be blessed if you do.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Matthew 7:24-29

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. – Matthew 7:24-29

Ever drive through a subdivision where every house looked exactly the same except for the colors. Every third house is yellow, every other one is white.  But the one in the middle was crumbling and looked like it was falling apart, with large cracks up the sides.  The water seeped below the surface and cracked the foundation and there was no fixing the house without fixing the foundation.

Foundation is important.  Who are you building on?  What are you building on?  I am grateful that I had a good foundation as a child, but what if I didn't have that? I know the wind and rain comes.  I ask myself all the time, what do people do when storms come in their life and they don't have Jesus?  Where do they turn?  

I don't want Jesus just to be my foundation though, I want him to be my walls, my windows, my roof, my doors.  I want  him to be everything, I want to live like he is everything.  I want to be wise.

You know how they say don't pray for patience because you'll get problems to be patient through.  If you pray for wisdom, you'll get problems that test where you turn for wisdom and how you exhibit it.  May my foundation be strong, may I lean upon it for wisdom !

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Proverbs 3:5 & 6

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5 & 6 
We do get in trouble when we start trying to rationalize what God might want for us.  Examples of Sarah and Hagai, King Saul, even Peter.  When we are looking at him and always offering up that we want to do his will, his will becomes clearer and clearer.  It doesn't remove our free will, but He wants our free will to be His will.  Us to choose him.  I woke up with a song on my heart this morning of Holy, Holy, Holy. and I was thinking of how in Revelation the beasts are flying about always singing, "Holy, Holy, Holy is our God Almighty, who is and was and is to come."  Revelation 4:8

With those words on my heart, Trusting in the Lord and not leaning on my own understanding seems easy. In fact, it seems like I would never wonder and never doubt.  But then, satan loves to have me doubt, question, try to lean on my own understanding.  Which is faulty unless I am looking at him. 

The last few entries have been about wisdom which comes from the experiences we have both those that we learn from overcoming temptations and those we learn from when we fail.  Letting him direct my path and not trying to make my own is the far better route to wisdom.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

- Proverbs 2:1-5

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,

and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.

- Proverbs 2:1-5

What a great prophecy.  Since we have to go through a trial that teaches us something to become wise about it.  It is this wisdom that will get you through it.  Turn and listen to wisdom.  Know where it is around you.  Know the steps to take to the treasurer.  They are right there before you and a precious spirit  What a joy this versre gives, and hope.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Proverbs 1:23

If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you. – Proverbs 1:23
This proverb is referring to the role of wisdom in our lives. It brilliantly captures how we learn: first we don’t know what we don’t know, then we realize that we don’t know, this begins the quest for knowledge, then we actually learn. Responding to correction is the doorway to wisdom pouring it’s heart to us and making it’s thoughts known. To allow correction in our lives is the pathway to wisdom.
Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

I usually try to come up with my own commentary to a verse, but this is almost exactly what I would have written.  We can't hide from rebuke.  We need to own up so that God can use our mistake and make us more like him.  I want to be more like him.  Wisdom in our lives is His blessing.  

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jeremiah 1:4-5

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:4-5
God knows our purpose on this earth before we were ever born. In an age of options the God of creation made us for a specific reason.  Oh and a joy that He does.  I find such peace knowing that He knows for what he has intended me.   If I have given my life over to him, I need not fear, only trust.