Tag Archives: scripture

Psalm 119

I’ve been reading the Psalms for some time now.

Not exclusively, as we are studying Galatians on Sunday and there are times when the Lord brings me elsewhere.

Yet, the Psalms have been my personal time with the Lord.

Of late, He’s been having me read Psalm 119 over and over.

I know that many people do not learn this way, but I have found such depth and healing in reading the verses many times.

There is such truth, beauty, and healing here for me.

I highlight them.

Pray them.

Feel they are speaking my desires and the cry of my heart through them.

Recently, it was:

Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments.
Psalms 119:5‭-‬6 NKJV

The Lord is gracious and merciful and I found such comfort in this:

With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Psalms 119:10 NKJV

In March, when I was struggling with my health I began to praise God every time I was awake.

It’s a habit I have worked at continuing and this verse encouraged me:

At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, Because of Your righteous judgments.
Psalms 119:62 NKJV

My daily activities have been exhorted by these words:

Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way. Establish Your word to Your servant, Who is  devoted to fearing You. Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your judgments are good.
Psalms 119:35‭-‬39 NKJV

And from the beginning of my time in Psalms 119 my heart has found such joy, comfort, and rest in this:

This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.
Psalms 119:50 NKJV

And there is so much more.

With all this blessing, it’s difficult to admit, my attitude has not always been such.

I used to look on Psalm 119 as a “problem”.

“It’s so long. How am I supposed to read through it and retain anything?”

I had made an unjust assumption that just because of the many words, I wouldn’t find much.

It was only after surrendering my attitude and the lie I had believed that the words were able to speak to my heart.

I’m so glad I did!

Nothing in scripture is a waste.

The Holy Spirit can use any and all of the scriptures to minister to me, if I surrender my own prejudice and open my heart.

I’m so thankful for the Lord having me read Psalm 119.

I’m blessed that He is so patient with me.

And His love surrounds me.

I can rejoice alongside these words:

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
Psalms 119:97 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. How grateful I am to You for teaching my heart. These words have been such a comfort, guide, and blessing. Thank You for sustaining me in each day and showing me Your Word is life. Lord Jesus, there are many who are lost and hurting, please bring them to a knowledge of You. Please speak clearly through those of us who are called by Your name. Please let our mouths be full of Your truth. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes, please help me to walk in Your ways, Jesus. I love You, thank You for first loving me. Amen.

A little extra help

Isn’t this beautiful?

It came in a text this morning.

My dear friend wrote a brief message with the picture.

“My prayer for you today.”

It was exactly what I needed.

For some reason I didn’t sleep well last night.

Poor Anne accidentally woke me at 8:30 because she was concerned that I was still in bed.

Bless her heart, she promptly made me breakfast and tea and brought it in to me.

It’s just one of those days when I need a little extra help.

I’m still recovering from the fever and sometimes I over do it.

Evidently yesterday was one of those days.

Yet God in His incredible Sovereignty knew I was going to need extra help today.

And He placed a sweet gift in the heart of my friend who passed it on to me.

I was also blessed to hear from another friend who was sending me a praise report!

As if these were not enough I received a beautiful prayer from a friend:

“Praise the Lord ! Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord ? Who can ever praise him enough?”
Psalms 106:1‭-‬2 NLT

“Lord, praise you for the everyday miracles you built into nature. Praise you for green grass and flowering trees. Praise you for bulbs that tenaciously press their way through hardened soil to decorate your earth. Praise you for sun and rain and all the weather that shapes our earth.

Praise you for life and new life. Praise you for the spiritual awakening of a single soul and many souls and all the nations!!

Lord you hear our praise, that is miracle enough! May my tongue never cease to praise you for you alone are worthy!!!
Amen!!”

What a mountain of encouragement I have received today!

Truly, I am so blessed!

God is so good!

He carries me and provides for me each and every day.

He is incredible.

So, today I am praising God for His working through others.

Proverbs 17:17 NKJV — A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

Amen!

Two Mason Jars

It was a dream.

My husband was standing next to our dining room table and explaining to the family, “a thankfulness jar”.

Basically it was an ordinary Mason jar which we were to each write one thing we are thankful for and place the papers in the jar.

I remember him talking about our need to give thanks to God regularly for all our blessings.

Then I woke.

I pondered.

“Lord, I like this. I think it would be good for all of us.”

“The girls could even decorate a jar, so it would be pretty. It could be sitting on the piano.”

–pause–

“Lord, what am I missing? It feels like I only have half the plan.”

Bible verses

“Of course. Love it! We will have two jars, one for our thankfulness notes and the other for scripture.”

It’s perfect.

I texted the information to both our girls.

Easter Sunday seems a beautiful time to begin.

I have been praying about which verse to begin with.

I think this is the one:

Matthew 28:6 KJV — He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Emphasis mine.)

No matter your circumstances, I pray you are able to find creative ways to praise and thank our Lord Jesus this Easter.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your sacrifice. Lord, as we look to Easter Sunday please help our hearts be completely focused upon praising You for all You have done. Let us never grow weary of the greatest story, Your story. Help us find renewed vigor from the trials You walked through. Lord Jesus, please bring our hearts and minds back to You on this, the best of holidays, for without Your Resurrection we have no hope of heaven. Thank You Jesus for dieing for me. Thank You for rising again! Praise be to God on high!!

Scripture memorization

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
Psalms 1:1 NKJV
https://bible.com/bible/114/psa.1.1.NKJV

It began after watching The Chosen.

I had been struck by the number of people who could quote God’s Word.

Then it hit me.

They had to.

Being able to read wasn’t common, books weren’t easily available, so if they wanted to remember what God’s Word said, they had to memorize.

So, I picked out Psalm 100, and told the kids we were going to start memorizing the Bible together.

They are so much better at it than I am.

We’ve only been at it a little while, but the kids have Psalm 100 and Psalm 1 down.

We are going to move on to Psalm 15.

I’m encouraged that even a small amount of scripture memorization will benefit all of us.

I want God’s Word in our hearts.

I often pray that for our family.

What better way to get it there than to purposefully add it?

Of course it’s not about adding to our knowledge to puff up our pride, nor is it a way to punish or force our family into religion.

It’s instead like falling in love.

When I began to date my husband, I wanted to learn all I could about him.

After we were married I wanted to be familiar with his family and took the time to memorize the names of his mother’s siblings, all nine of them.

It’s the same thing with scripture memorization.

I want to know all I can about Jesus.

I want our children to constantly be learning about Him too.

And this is just another opportunity to know and love Him all the more.

My heart resonates with the psalmist:

Psalm 119:10 NKJV — With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!

It’s so much easier to follow Jesus and His commandments if I know them and understand what they are teaching.

And I won’t give up Bible study or solid Biblical teaching, instead it’s just adding another layer of sweetness.

For that’s what knowing Jesus more truly is.

I praise God for His Word and I cherish this opportunity.

Psalm 119:16 NKJV — I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

“May it be so Lord!”

He Who is faithful

None is faithful like the LORD GOD.

Deuteronomy 7:9 NKJV — “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

His faithfulness is evident in the whole of creation.

His work on behalf of mankind testifies to His unwavering love.

He cared for Abraham and set him apart to be the lineage of Jesus Christ.

God’s promise to Abraham was also a promise to save mankind from sin.

He didn’t stop there. God knew without instruction, mankind wouldn’t even acknowledge their need to be saved from sin.

God taught Israel (Abraham’s grandson) and through his twelve sons built the twelve tribes which all were a foreshadowing of things to come.

God drew the World’s attention when He brought Moses and Aaron to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt.

He proved no man, not even the most powerful ruler can stand in the way of God and His promises.

Psalm 119:138 NKJV — Your testimonies, which You have commanded, Are righteous and very faithful.

God was faithful to lead the Israelites out of bondage. He gave them the Ten Commandments, and the first books of the Bible, to bring them understanding.

God’s faithfulness continued in His patience with these children of Israel. Through them He would save the whole world from sin.

At the appointed time, God’s Son, Jesus came. God in flesh. Another testimony to God’s faithfulness.

1 Corinthians 1:9 NKJV — God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

After Jesus rose from the dead and instructed the disciples, the church was born on Pentecost.

God’s faithfulness continued, He sent His Spirit to guide, teach, and direct.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 NKJV — But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

And He’s still working.

For those who believe in Jesus and are called according to His purposes, our greatest joy is to walk in His will daily.

Hebrews 10:23 NKJV — Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

God knows us better than we know ourselves. He realizes we are sinful and at times overcome by it.

2 Timothy 2:13 NKJV — If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

But He promises…

1 John 1:9 NKJV — If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

God, Himself, picks us up, washes us off, and holds our hand in loving correction, because He is faithful.

I can testify that God is faithful.

He has been throughout my entire life.

I know He will continue to be.

His Word says so:

Hebrews 13:5 NKJV — Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

This week I’m going to focus on the incredible attributes of God.

Faithfulness is today’s.

These Scriptures and Bible stories are some of the ways I’m remembering how faithful God is.

I’m also purposing to rummage in my memories, to look at even the moments of pain through the lens of God’s faithfulness.

How has God been faithful to you?

Writing letters

Some I’ve received and some ready to mail.

It began this summer.

A dear friend, sent me a beautiful handmade card.

Inside, she suggested we write to one another.

She was aware of my struggles, wanted to keep in touch, and she doesn’t text or email.

It’s been lovely.

Among the bills and junk mail, I get an old fashioned letter.

She doesn’t always write in a beautiful hand-made card, but it doesn’t matter.

It’s the personal touch, the time and thoughts and love.

And it’s been inspiring.

Talking on the phone isn’t something I do well these days.

Either I’m busy with homeschooling or my asthma sets limits.

So, I’ve been writing letters.

Especially, to my mom and sister.

They’ve kindly been taking the time to write back.

This week I was blessed to receive a letter from someone else.

She was writing in response to my Christmas card.

How fun!

Of course hand writing letters isn’t easy.

There’s no spell check to automatically fix my errors.

There’s nothing to prevent me from using poor grammar or poor penmanship.

Yes, I’ve started writing and thrown them out, only to begin again.

At first, I was critical of all my efforts.

But the Lord reminded me of what’s important.

It’s not the handwriting, the grammar, or the lined notebook paper which makes the letter.

It’s the love, the content, the sharing of ideas and emotions and day to day things.

It’s also the time.

In this fast passed instant world, putting pen to paper is an effort.

But a very worth while one.

Infact, I am so glad God has encouraged me to take the time to do this.

And it reminds me of Scripture.

I’m so glad the Apostle Paul took the time to pen letters or dictate them.

I’m thankful for the letters written by John, James, Peter, and others.

The Holy Spirit inspired words bring such joy, peace, and perspective.

Hebrews 13:15 NKJV — Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Today, I’m praising the Lord Jesus for both the spoken and the written word!

May He be glorified!

Praise and Thanksgiving

picture by K. Wolfe, used with permission.

Scripture is the wisdom we seek.

It’s the comfort we need.

God’s Holy Word is bread to our soul.

In it one can find solace for every circumstance, compassion for every emotion.

In it’s pages are life.

True perspective comes from knowledge of God.

No matter the tragedy, struggle, pain, or strife one can find God worthy of praise.

When all personal opinion is placed to the side, the heart can see the love, compassion, and amazing gift of Jesus to a world lost in sin.

With the knowledge of God, the Creator, coupled with the Savior Jesus, His Son, there is reason for praise and thanksgiving.

Where better to find words of such, than Scripture?

“I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.” Psalm 35:18 NKJV

Psalm 30:4 NKJV — Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

Psalm 106:1 NKJV — Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15 NKJV

Let Scripture bring us to a place of praise and thanksgiving!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for every gift and everything You provide, even those things I ignore or misunderstand. Jesus, I want to give You the praise and thanksgiving You deserve, help my heart to find thankfulness and praise in every circumstance. Thank You for being God Almighty! May my lips and heart praise You!

Tell yourself

This picture makes me laugh.

Taken years ago during a skit, it still conveys an emotion.

My expression was meant to convey to the child audience a thought in my head:

I really don’t think you know what your talking about!”

And therein lies a truth.

Our own thoughts have an enormous impact.

Recently, the point was brought into focus through these words:

“…The most important voice you hear outside of the Lord’s is your own. What do you tell yourself?”
Pastor Chuck Swindoll, Dallas Theological Seminary, Pressing On

What do you tell yourself?

What should anyone bathed in Christ’s redemption be telling themselves?

The Truth.

Words filled with Christ Jesus.

John 14:6 KJV — Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

No matter the circumstance, the answer is in Scripture.

Romans 12:15 NKJV — Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

Praise God over blessings and benefits!

Be thankful.

Uphold those who sorrow in prayer.

James 5:13 NKJV — Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.

Let a worship song play over and over inside.

Thoughts can be purposeful meditation upon the Word.

Psalm 119:15 NKJV — I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.

No, it’s not just a positive mindset.

Nothing fake or pretence.

Nor is it ignoring strife, pain, or disappointment.

It’s purposeful.

Take thoughts, allow them to be combed and groomed by the timeless truths of the Gospel.

It’s learning to surrender even everyday preferences to the hand of the Master, Jesus.

For without Christ, the Savior, we are nothing.

The psalmist put it best:

Psalm 119:30 KJV — I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.

Tell yourself the truth.

Fill your thoughts with Christ.

Thoughts

image

Where do thoughts come from?

At times mine are planted from things I have read or heard.

Others it has been spoken words that replay like voice mail in my brain.

The thoughts of fear, and failure, and tragedy are normally not mine but have been shot at me like arrows from the enemy of my soul.

But all of these are washed away in the thoughts of Scripture.

Something so refreshing as, “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Is.40:11

As a mother who’s greatest desire is to bless and encourage our children it is so comforting to know it all doesn’t rest on my abilities.

I am being led.

As long as I choose to walk in the path of the Master and to allow the Good Shepherd to guide me I can rest in His leading.

Even in my thoughts,  I can choose to follow Him.

Am I worried about my daughter’s progress in math?

I can spend those moments in prayer for her.

Am I concerned about the physical safety of the girls in sports?

I can seek the Lord as to how to train them to be safe, but only after trusting the Lord with them.

Do I find my thoughts lingering near the ugly and ungodly?

I can seek forgiveness and again apply scripture to heal and nourish my soul.

So where do thoughts come from?

I hope yours as well as mine are being bathed in scripture as we are led down the paths of righteousness.