Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 28

I really need to get back to doing this earlier in the day. I am a huge procrastinator but even tonight when I had determined in my head that the best thing to do would be to just go to bed (after all I am a Mommy with many demands on my time and I practically wasted my evening, I should get some sleep) I couldn't go a day without pursuing God in His Word. That is a gift, a miracle of God. I feel like it doesn't really count because I know that I would have felt guilty and wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't read the Word and that was my motivation, not love. On the other hand, Praise God that I couldn't go a day without reading His Word even after I spent an hour under my husbands teaching. That is a supernatural change in me.

I am reading Ruth now. This is another grace from Judges. Ruth begins with, "In the days when the judges ruled..." Then follows an amazing story of grace and redemption. A hero who comes in and rescues a damsel in distress. So beautiful and so stirring because it is a shadow of Christ. I am the damsel hanging over the pit of Hell and He is my hero, rescuer who gives His life to redeem me. No wonder I love a self sacrificing, happy ending story like Ruth, it points to a love story more true then any man can make up.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 27

Today was difficult. I made my poor daughter feel very low about herself. As I was fussing about her messy room and making some comment about how she was having a hard time remembering what she was supposed to do she said, "It's okay Mommy, some day your life will be better and you won't have to pick up after me, because I will be a grown-up." I stopped in my tracks and repented, asking for her forgiveness. As always she forgave me very willingly, too willingly. It is another reminder of how God forgives. It cost Him everything yet if we only repent, He gives it. Quickly. Willingly.

With Christmas approaching I thought I would share this powerful and sweet and wonderful video as a reminder of why we celebrate...and why Tobie can forgive me so quickly and why God can forgive me.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 26

My head hurts and I am going to bed but before I do I will share a thought. While I was reading Psalm 102 and Acts 22 Tommy was listening to a lecture in the background. This is a professor at Yale who teaches a class on Hebrew Bible Literature. It is fascinating, glorious and infuriating all at the same time. She said something tonight that particularly caught my attention because of how true it is. In reference to the seeming inconsistencies of the Old Testament she said, "this is a record of a civil war between Israel and herself." How true is that? Paul brings this up specifically in the New Testament. A life of faith, pursuit of God and trust in Christ IS a lifelong civil war with oneself. Praise God that the outcome is secure!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 25

More Judges today. I read chapters 20 and 21 and I listened to a sermon on chapters 19-21. Conversations with Tommy and the sermon have pointed out some very interesting connections and fueled some more study. I will attempt to sort out my thoughts as I go here and I hope they make sense. Perhaps by the end I will have come to some conclusion but perhaps not.

Depravity and justice. These are two themes that are very present in Judges 19-21. It also points to another very similar situation in Genesis (chapter 19 of all places) where the men of Sodom and Gomorrah come after the angels who are staying with Lot. This is an example of a city that was so evil God literally wiped it off the face of the earth. Depravity not only in the men of Sodom but also in Lot. He offered his virgin daughters to these men. They were spared by the grace of God but still were offered. Here is where this hits home for me both in Judges and in Genesis: I am depraved also. There is no one who is righteous. The concubine is easily seen as a victim and we all feel sorry for her, however she had left her husband to be a harlot in her fathers home. This is not a righteous woman. I am not upholding the sin of these men or of her Levite husband but the fact remains that her sins against God earn her His eternal wrath. Who am I to despise God's right justice? This has been for me a reorienting to God's way of seeing man, He sees man as totally depraved...there is no good in them and even more difficult His right and ability to execute justice on them however and whenever He sees fit. WOW! That is a hard pill for me to swallow.

I squirm in my seat even as I write this.

How to get to Grace from here. Please try and follow with me. This is the part where analogia fidei comes into play. This is that since the Bible has one author, God, then Scripture should be read in light of other Scripture, not in a isolation. Judges is not meant to be taken alone, without the rest of the Word otherwise we would be left without hope, without grace. In the grand scheme of God's plan these remind us of the need for redemption but in a more specific correlation take notice of those who lived in Gibeah. The men who wanted to rape the Levite and ultimately rapped and abused his concubine were from the tribe of Benjamin. In the next few chapters these Benjaminites were almost completely wiped out because there women and children were killed. Only 600 men remained (wait, there is grace right there) and they found wives by kidnapping women from nearby towns. Still need more grace? 10 tribes of Israel are later virtually obliterated but 2 are sent into exile in Babylon: Judah and Benjamin. Decades later they return and after time we have the birth of Jesus and Grace is given to the world. As if that is not enough grace there came a man who was chosen to be God's herald of grace versus works. He was transformed by the AMAZING power of Christ's sacrifice and empowered by the Holy Spirit to write much of the New Testament, explaining and exulting over GRACE. That's right, Paul and guess what he says in Philippians 3:3-5 "...put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;"  INCREDIBLE! That is not an accident or a coincidence, there is no such thing!

Conclusion? My view is so small, myopic and limited and God's view is infinite, with His glory and grace always in play. He is purposeful and deep and wise in all He does. It is also so critical to read Scripture as a part of the whole and the whole is the BIBLE not just the specific book. I need to also remember that when one characteristic of God seems to overwhelm a situation it does not preclude His other characteristics (ie when judgment is overwhelming it does not take away from His goodness) Whew! That was intense.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 24

I am still working through this Judges stuff. I love it but it is hard. There are times when I think, "why am I working through this? Why does this matter? No one is going to know or care if you just keep going and don't search out your answers." These thoughts then lead to lies about how unimportant I am, or how unimportant Scripture, like this is to me and my life. Or thoughts like, it is not applicable therefore I don't need to figure it out. Or the idea that I am an uneducated stay-at-home mom and can get by without knowing any deep truths from Judges 19. These are tactics of the Enemy that I need to fight. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 The question again is, do I believe what God has said? Do I believe ALL SCRIPTURE is God breathed? YES! What about profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness? ...yes. I guess I need to keep pursuing the answers to my questions in Judges.

Don't worry, God is answering. I have had some great conversation today, helping to process through what this passage says about God and man. I also found a sermon series from a group that I trust, through the book of Judges. I am excited to dig deeper. I'll keep you informed.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 23

I think I am going to have to pause in my reading. Of course by pause I mean, read the same passage again and do a little digging because I am plagued with questions. Why Judges 19? Where is the Gospel here? Quick answers are not satisfying. I need to meditate, pray and search. If you have any good resources please feel free to point me in a good direction.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 22

Growing up we always had big Thanksgiving day feasts. When I say big, I mean big. 25 people was a small group for Thanksgiving. So when this year we found ourselves celebrating just the 7 of us, I found it a little sad. I loved cooking...I LOVE cooking...and enjoyed the shopping and chopping and two days of mixing and baking that led up to today. I loved the low stress of playing games with the kids, not having to wait on anyone when the turkey was early and being able to take a nap in the afternoon. It was a lovely day and I have been very thankful.

It did get me thinking though. Why was it so hard up to now, thinking of being "just us"? Tommy nailed it for me. It is the same reason why good-byes are so difficult. It is the same reason why nature is beautiful and unsatisfying all at the same time. There is another world that I long for. I yearn for home, my true and real home. The one that has a place, special, for me, being prepared right now. There is a feast that will be full of thanksgiving and food and family that I desire in the deepest part of me to enjoy. I long for Heaven and to be with Christ and I want it so badly that I try to create it here on earth and Jesus is so good and kind that sometimes He gives us pieces of it, types of it, shadows of reality and they are so good that I lose sight of the truth that what I seek is the Giver of these sweet gifts. The One who purchased me with His blood.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 21

I have a lot to say but am still not sure how to say it. No, what it is, is that God is working. I can feel the stirrings of something big. There are questions that keep coming up in my head and heart about myself that I don't want to ask God because I am not sure that I want to know the answer. That is why my posts are so brief.

I am thankful though and these questions that are creeping into my thoughts give me the opportunity to practice what I teach my children: Be thankful for what you do have, what God has given you and be faithful to Him. Do not focus on what you don't have.

I am thankful for my family. We are a crowd and I am blessed to spend tomorrow praising God and mediating with them on all the ways He has blessed us!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 20

It is amazing to me how much the Old Testament is full of grace. Abraham...a nobody from nowhere, called out by God, why? Because God called him. Jacob, a deceiver. Moses, a murderer. Israel in general as a people who could not go longer then one generation without rebelling against God. I am reading about Samson right now and I have to be honest, it is hard to see why God picked him. I guess that is where my problem comes from. I am focusing on Samson and not on God and not seeing that it is because of the New Testament...because of Christ that God can show such grace. AND He continues to do so, toward so many, but so abundantly, to me.

I am so grateful for grace. When I am sick. When I am healthy. When I feel it. When I don't. When I am sad. When I am joyful. When I am thankful. When I am sinful. God is good to me and you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 19

I am sick today. I did manage to squeeze some time in to read about Samson and God's plan for him from before he was born. Fascinating. I plan to ponder it more as I attempt to sleep off this cold. Praising God for His grace to see and fight the sin that wants to overtake me since I feel so awful.

A HUGE thank you to my sweet, wonderful, serving husband. He did the dishes and took the kids to the Y so I could have above quiet time. Cleaned up dinner and has given lots of hugs and encouragement. I am blessed.

Day 18

Spent the day with the church family being reminded of God's faithfulness through this past year. He has been good to bless us with this body. I am also thankful for Ziacam. No fun when the mommy is sick.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 17

We have been listening to Steven Curtis Chapman's new album re:creation all day. The first song, Do Everything, I linked to in an earlier blog. It has been such a blessing to me. It helps to remind me that there are no tasks in my day or words that I say that are meaningless. It helps to remind me of 1 Corinthians 10:31, that whatever I am doing it is to be done for the glory of God.

I'm not exactly sure how this all works but listening to that song and the others on the album that are along those same thoughts kept my mind focused. Keeping focused on Who I am serving helps to make work light and joyful. We cleaned house today and it was very pleasant, no it was even fun. The baby girls were taking a nap and the rest of us worked together on the same projects: scrubbing toilets, washing dishes, cleaning windows, and walls, vacuuming and sweeping. Side by side, singing and talking and sometimes even laughing. In the interest of full discloser there were some tears and reminders about attitudes and being thankful for what we have as opposed to mad at what we don't have BUT as a whole it was a joyful time. Praise the Lord!

God is transforming my heart and attitude little by little to see life more and more His way. Now, to remember when I start to freak out again!

Check out SCC new album. It is so good!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 16

Tonight two of the children disobeyed. After much weeping we (Tommy, the children and myself) had a conversation about the difference between worldly sorrow and godly sorrow. One leads to feeling terrible, the other leads to repentance. A little more conversation about repentance and they both confessed their wrongdoing and asked for forgiveness. I freely and joyfully gave it and before I finished the word one of them yells out, "look, that's a dog park."

My first reaction was to take back the forgiveness and go over everything again, because how could it be genuine? I wanted to make them understand and feel the weight and relief of sin and forgiveness. Then it hit me: they had felt the weight and the IMMEDIATE relief of forgiveness. The tears were over and the offense was no longer held against them. I stopped before I started. This is how God forgives. Completely. Immediately. Without demanding payment after repentance. Sin has already been paid for! True, there are still consequences to sin but the debt is paid. Why is it so difficult to remember this?

Lord, thank you so much for teaching me through your word (I am in Judges and the Israelites were constantly sinning and repenting and God still forgives) and through my children about your forgiveness!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 15

Success. Another day of the main thing being the main thing. Praise the Lord.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 14

Psalm 96:2 "Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day."

I have been surrounded to day with articles, blogs, songs, videos, even bumper stickers that encourage me to take every moment and every action captive. Redeem it for God's glory in order to tell of his salvation with my actions, attitude and life choices because whatever I do...matters.

We are going into a crazy time of year and I can feel the anxiousness creeping in again. Today was almost my first "fail". I got in the car this afternoon to leave for the rest of the evening and realized there had been no time in the word yet and little time or opportunity for it later. I had to decide to leave the anxiety causing "things" until tomorrow and spend my evening with the Lord even though the anxiety increased at first. This is precious quiet productive time but there is nothing else I could do that would be more productive then to seek the Lord.

I am always amazed at how often I have to counsel myself into right thinking and it is going to get more difficult over the next two months. Many, many deadlines and late nights. I could really use your prayers during this time. I want to "be" and not "do" and celebrate Christ's birth even though there is much that needs to be done. Lord, give me the discernment to know what is a true need.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 13

I read this blog today and it echoes the desire of my heart. My feelings sometimes betray the twisted ideas I have of what is important. The kids are still have colds and so they are very cranky. The part that makes me happy is that they don't have a lot of energy to trash the house and so the dishes have not piled up in a few days and the laundry is getting done in record time. The part that makes me sad is the feeling of guilt I get when I sit and do nothing but cuddle for a half an hour with my three youngest children.

1 Corinthians 10:31 "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

This is the cry of my heart!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 12

God is good. More small victories throughout the day. As I make the most important thing first it is more regular that I am able to see and chose what is more important in other areas. It is not easy but it is a little easier.

Praying that the kids heal quickly from this cold but thankful for the blessing in disguise: this forces us as a family to slow down a little, not "do" so much and there is more time at home to work but also to enjoy being together. I love this family God has blessed me with.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 11

Corporate worship today. A Sermon from Revelation 1 on a Picture of God in Three Frames. Personal worship, back to Psalm 86, that started me off on this journey, "Incline your ear O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy..." Evening service, prayer for the persecuted Church and an invitation to serve them.

God is amazing in how He works all things together for His glory. I am joyful to know that He chose me to redeem and purposed me with a work to further His kingdom.

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great “I Am”;
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
 And through eternity, I’ll sing on. -Alexander Means

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 10

Today I read Judges 4 and 5. Unfortunately it was rushed, not very quiet or focused but I did it. That in itself got me to thinking, pondering what I am doing again. On the one hand it is very good to persevere and keep going even when it is hard and less then ideal. I am building habits, forming a routine that is very important. There is nothing else that should be more regular, even vital to my day then time with God. On the other hand a routine is not the only reason why I should be doing this. My motivation needs to be love, adoration, worship...a desire to know God more intimately every time I open His word. This is something that I cannot fabricate or conjure up by trying hard. It is my prayer that God will change my heart to be a Mary and not a Martha. I am afraid that even in my efforts to be more like Mary I am going about it in a Martha way. Crazy huh?

Lord, help me to know you, see you and rejoice in you every time I open your word.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 9

This morning I woke up full of selfishness. I was weepy and had no motivation to do anything. I wanted to play my computer games which I have not played since this journey began...not because they are wrong but because something has to go and they are last on the priority list. I didn't want to finish school with the kids. I wanted to take the kids to play at Chik-fil-a or find some spontaneous field trip. Some friends borrowed movies from us today and while I was looking for them I ran across all my other favorite movies and was overcome with the desire to let the kids run wild and watch a marathon of...whatever. I am not saying that those things are in themselves wrong but what I realized was the motivation for them, what was in my heart was very wrong.

I wanted to run away. I wanted to run away from my responsibilities, from God's calling on my life, from God Himself. Yes, the simple lack of motivation for daily activities was a rebellion of my heart against God. It is strange and awful at the same time how such a seemingly small thing, a little self indulgence, is rooted in rebellion. By the grace of God though, He granted me victory. I resisted the urge to clean (a distraction or band-aid I often use to make me feel better about myself and my choices, especially when I am running from God and His word) and resisted the urge to play and instead sat down and opened my Bible. Victory in Jesus!

I wish that I could say it was overflowing with encouragement and practical applications to what I was going through right then and I finished with joy and peace and bouquets of flowers in my heart but that would not be true. I am still working hard at training myself to look for Christ when I read the Scriptures and to see grace and to ask questions and seek the answers. I am working at training myself to study the Word. I can say however that God gave me time to journal my prayers, to clearly and specifically ask for wisdom on a decision that is very distracting to my soul. I can also say that somehow school was finished, the basement was partially picked up, I got to "run away" and let the kids play at the mall, watched a movie with my husband tonight and was not weepy or anxious all afternoon. I don't know how God makes the day more productive but I am grateful that He blesses when we put Him first.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 8

I am off to my "accountability" group. I love these women and their honesty. We deal with true and raw sin and suffering and joys and grace and our responses to each. These women protect my privacy and love me through my sin as well as remind me of God's amazing grace. We don't really like the term "accountability group" we like to say we are a group that reminds each other to stop the tyranny of do more try harder and to return to grace, grace, God's grace.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 7

After the very taxing blog yesterday, I am exhausted. The day was spent reminding myself of what conclusions I had come to just last night. It is amazing how quickly sin comes to steal away the truth. The temptations were many to gossip, to indulge my anger again and to be prideful for the solution I had figured out. Praise be to Him who bought me and whose grace continually flows.

I am also very thankful for this blog as it helps me to solidify what God is doing in my heart. Being the mommy of five it is very easy to only think and ponder on subjects, ideas, convictions, God's word and to never actually form an opinion or take action. I read another blog today that helped me see how and why this exercise of writing every day is so beneficial.
  • I find that there are three levels of clarity. When I only think about something, my thoughts are embryonic and muddled. When I speak about it, my thoughts become clearer, though not always. When I write about it, I jump to a new level of clarity. -Ed Welch
Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 6

I have got to be honest. There are a few...ok there are a lot of people who have hurt me deeply, but there are a few that seem more difficult to forgive then others. Somehow there keep coming up situations or interactions reminding me of that pain. I would like to reconcile with them but for whatever reason they don't know they have hurt me or they are not in a position spiritually/emotionally to reconcile or we are not in contact anymore for unrelated reasons and the hurt just comes up in my heart and head from time to time, regardless the fact is it hurts and somehow I have to leave it at the cross.

These last few days I have been wondering how to tell you how I have solved this problem but the truth is, I haven't solved it. Let me clarify, I haven't solved it in a way that makes it all go away. I haven't figured out how to learn this lesson one time and never have to deal with this struggle again. I have been reading my Bible and searching for the "magic verse" that changes my heart, makes the pain go away and then I could share with you if you just read it and believe it will do the same for you. I haven't found that verse....because it doesn't exist. There is good news though! There is something better: judgment! That sin that so deeply hurt me, will be paid for! God promises that in Romans 6:23 when he says, "For the wages of sin is death..." That sin that so deeply hurt me, also hurt God and it was an offense so great to Him that someone will die. Whose death will pay for that sin? Either the persons, or Jesus Christs.

Now I could leave it there and this truth would be comforting for awhile but Romans 6:23 continues "...but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Sometimes, the people who hurt me, who sin against me, are believers who have been given forgiveness from Christ. Here is where the vile confession comes: I want to rip that gift from them! I want to punish them and so say, "Jesus' death was enough for my sins, but should not be enough for yours."

Let that sink in for a moment.

It humbles me. That desire to take Christ's gift from them and instead cause them more pain reminds me that I am still a wretched sinner in need of grace. I am guilty too. My sin's wage is death too. I am not righteous, Christ is. I have been forgiven so much more then is being asked of me to forgive. Only when I am overwhelmed by the grace shown to me can I show grace to others.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 5

Forgiveness is such a painful thing. I am so grateful that Christ took my punishment and forgave me so that I can say, "That person hurt me and I am angry but I have been forgiven, so I will plead with Christ to give me the ability to forgive them." More on forgiveness tomorrow.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 4

Today has been an emotional day. God is bringing up a lot of things in my heart that are painful to deal with. I am thankful though for the Word preached faithfully this morning, my personal reading this afternoon, and the reminder of Christ's work of redemption on the cross tonight. He sealed forgiveness with His blood and remains faithful even when I see waves and not Him.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 3

Impatience is my name and disorder is my game. Well, that is how I feel when I consider all the things that I can and would like to share with you about what God is doing through this commitment. It is difficult for me to recognize that I am going to be doing this for 365 days and so I do not have to expel every thought and idea and concern that goes through my head to you in this blog. That would be annoying and extremely confusing neither of which glorify God. So, I need to remember I can take this one day, one subject at a time. There will be another day to talk about that other subject, Lord willing.

When I sit down to worship God on my own I am often overwhelmed with everything that I have to do during the rest of the day. Today for example, I had to force myself to stop in the middle of a project, knowing that it and the next project (dishes) would not be finished until late in the afternoon, in order to take advantage of the quiet due to fewer children. My window of opportunity was slim but I reminded myself that the most important thing needs to be MOST IMPORTANT. Sitting down I pulled out my Bible, journal, and a small pad of paper and a pen. The pad of paper was for those tasks that I would suddenly remember as I began to read the first few words of Joshua 19. I start with writing "Pick up living room, do dishes" then I set the paper aside to wait for the next task to threaten to steal my allegiance. This is critical for me. It is my way of saying, "you are not my master!" If I don't write them down though I will fret the rest of my time over whether or not I will remember to add conditioner to my grocery list. Who can worship God when they are fretting about conditioner? I know it sounds silly but the simplest things will lure me from the precious Words of God that reveal Himself to me.

What distracts you from personal worship of God? Do you already know? How have you solved past problems of distraction? If you don't know why personal worship is difficult ask God to show you what distracts you. It is a difficult question to ask. Difficult because He will answer it and you may not want to know that answer.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 2

Today was fairly easy. With the added pressure of knowing the "world" was watching I was able to chose to wait until nap time to sit down and read and pray today. I say chose because I debated in my head all last night and this morning if I should try and get this done first thing in the morning or wait until nap time when I knew that I would be feeling the need for renewal. Being at home with four kids 7 and under brings out selfishness, impatience, and harsh words and today was no exception. By nap time I had already corrected the children many times and corrected myself by asking for forgiveness. Renewal and grace sounded beautiful, however I think that from now on I will attempt to "seek first His Kingdom." (perhaps I will find the need and desire to seek him more then once in a day)

In January I started reading through the Bible in a year...on someone else's ambitious plan. I don't have to tell you that I am not on track to finish December 31 BUT I have continued on a similar format on a much slower pace and am loving it. Today I read Joshua 18, Psalm 87, and Acts 8. It has been exciting and fascinating to see the connections throughout the entirety of Scripture. To sum up, it all points to Jesus and when reading the New Testament with the Old Testament it becomes all that more clear. I love the Word and how He gives illumination!

On a convicting note, Simon the magician is a huge warning to my heart. Lord, may I never forget how deep and sinful sin is and how a depraved heart can twist even the desire for good things.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 1

There is nothing very special about today. It is not the beginning of anything but a change of my heart. I am tired. I am tired of feeling afraid, stressed, worried, name it! There is only one answer to those feelings that too often lead to sinful actions: Jesus Christ. I need to recognize that I do not know Him like I should. I also need to recognize that I am sinful and need help to spend time in the Word, getting to know my Savior. I have far too many reasons and excuses to find other things to lead me astray. I do not want to do that anymore. If I say that I believe the Bible and it says in Deuteronomy 8:3 "And he humbled you and let you hunger...that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." then I should live as though I believe this, hungering for the Word and feeding myself, everyday!

If you haven't guessed yet, I am making a commitment to spend time in the Word everyday for the next year and to blog about it. I am fearful even as I write this.
  • What if I can't do this? It is hard enough to write this first blog.
  • What if you see my commitment and feel burdened and then it becomes some legalistic law you become bound to? or that I become bound to?
  • What if I become proud because people like what I write?
  • What if God isn't impressed by my devotion and doesn't change my life into perfection?
NO MORE! I want to know Christ! I do not want to be enslaved any longer to fears and doubt and worry. No more excuses. If I can feed my kids food-I can make time to feed myself the Bread of Life. If I can check Facebook-then I have time to read a chapter of the Living and Active Word of God. If I have time to put clothes on-I have time to be transformed by the renewal of my mind.

My point is that even if I don't have time to even get dressed, that's ok if my priorities are where they should be, with my heart and my mind focused on the Giver and Sustainer of Life. If we all have to pick laundry out of a crumpled pile on the couch, my family may overlook it if I my mouth overflows with wisdom and kindness. I know that I will fail and so I am sharing with this small world my desire and commitment to seek first His kingdom. If you don't see a blog...ask me why. I am sure I will have a reason...and it will be a pathetic excuse of putting something else before the worship and adoration of my King and then I will fall on grace again.

Lord hear my prayer:
Psalm 86
A Prayer of David.
1 Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my life, for I am godly;
save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
3 Be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to you do I cry all the day.
4 Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
for you answer me.

 8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
12I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;
give your strength to your servant,
and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Show me a sign of your favor,
that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.