Saturday, October 25, 2014

Being Still and Knowing

This has been one of those weeks where I have had an overflowing heap on my plate.  I try to not plan too many outings, appointments, or responsibilities into one week, but this week needed to be an exception.  One morning I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all I still needed to accomplish during the next couple of days.  I was already ahead for my homework for the Bible Study this week so that was one thing that could wait.  Even though I was being productive, I still desired a calmer spirit in which to complete the tasks.  I decided to take a break and go ahead and complete another Bible study lesson for next week.  Being still and focusing on the scriptures was just what I needed to keep things in perspective and be ready for the rest of the day.

Psalm 46:10 usually comes to mind during times like these. 
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Being still was welcomed, but it was when I took time to acknowledge God for who He is and what He’s done that the peace and direction were renewed for the day.  That’s a great reminder for this week and for the weeks ahead as we prepare for the holidays.

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
Psalm 62:1

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Psalm 62:5

Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:30-31

This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
    or the strong boast of their strength
    or the rich boast of their riches,
 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
    justice and righteousness on earth,
    for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 9:23-24

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Read, Underline, Study, Apply

I am in the process of reading and underling important information in a 421 page book.  Because of so many important details, I have also added numerous brightly colored sticky tabs on pages I need to reference again.  In order to better understand the big picture and purpose of a specific diet, in hopes of helping improve symptoms of MS, the author highly recommends that one read the book completely through before beginning to apply the concepts.  I am rereading selections and continuing to study in order to achieve the maximum benefit.  After getting the go ahead from two doctors in the next few weeks, I am ready to practice what I have learned.  The more disciplined I am willing to be, the better chance I have for improvement.

I am also in the process of reading all 1094 pages in another book.  It has even more valuable life changing information in it.  The plan I am using has me read between 3 and 4 chapters a day, which gives me time to read, reflect on, and apply what I have read.  There are times I come back to passages, reread them for clarity and encouragement, and study them further, in hopes of applying them correctly.  It will take me a year to complete the process.  And then I’ll begin to read it again.  One of the gems about the Bible is that the author desires me to begin applying what is read as soon as possible.  I don’t have to wait until I understand it all or have read it completely to take action.  Whereas the book on nutrition has the potential to offer a better quality of life now if applied, the Bible assures me of an abundant life both now and for eternity.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Joshua 1:8

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:16

 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
Luke 24:45

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.”
Isaiah 40:8

Saturday, October 11, 2014


This week I attended Bible study at church.  Our routine is that I drive to church, call Larry when I get there, he meets me, takes the walker out of the car, and then he walks with me to the elevator which takes me to the third floor.  This week, I was on my own because Larry was out of town, but that was not a big deal since with a little effort I can get the walker in and out by myself.  It is a sweet blessing though when Larry is able to help.  Since I never know what traffic is going to be like, I try to leave an hour before the Bible study begins.  That morning the traffic was noticeably light and I was able to drive the speed limit the entire way. 

After arriving more than thirty minutes early, I took the walker out of the car and headed into the church.  I walked to the elevator and noticed the sign “OUT OF ORDER.”  My first thought was, “Oh, no.  Larry is not here and he knows what to do to help me get upstairs.  OK Lord, what am I going to do?”  Within two minutes, God orchestrated a plan that turned a mild inconvenience into joy, provision, and an unexpected blessing.  The security policeman happened to be in the main area and offered to carry the walker, my purse (which is not exactly light weight), my Bible and book up to the third floor.  Bambi offered her arm so I could have the rail on my right side and her arm for stability and Christina and Kathy Lynn gave extra arms of support on the two landings.  We made it up the flights of stairs in just a few minutes.  What a blessing that it was a good walking day and the steps were great exercise.

Christina happened to mention in the Bible study she helps lead that I had walked up the stairs.  When Elisabeth, a dear friend from Nashville, Tennessee, who was visiting in her mother’s class, heard that she came upstairs and surprised me with a visit!  What extra sweet gifts of provision and blessings all because the elevator was “OUT OF ORDER.”

As if that wasn’t enough encouragement for the week, my Bible reading the next day once again reminded me again of God’s constant love, care, provisions, and blessings.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's Fall

Fall has arrived.  Football and soccer games are being played, the leaves are changing colors, and cooler temperatures are on the way.  School has been in session for several weeks now and the holidays are quickly approaching.  So many things are predictable and routine about the fall season.  Soon the trees will begin the process of losing their leaves.  The trees will be bare, as they rest for a season, in preparation for the spring and new growth.

Unlike trees, we do not automatically lose what needs to be discarded for new growth.  Instead, we must be intentional about what we want and need to release.  Sometimes I need to let some good things go for a season so that the best has a chance to thrive.  Then there are times, like the last leaves on the tree, that I hold on by a thread and need God’s Spirit to blow and encourage me to release what I am hanging on to.  I continue to find that it is much easier to grab and take hold of the new when I have willingly released and let go of the old.  And sometimes I need to rest and wait for a season for the new to have time to take root and grow.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3