Friday, October 28, 2011

Looking for Hope

Dark sky Photo Credit: Monica Arellano-Ongpin


This month has been very hectic for me, and as the month draws near I find myself in still in the midst of a trial and drained physicially and emotionally.

Last night before I went to sleep I told God that I trusted Him with my life, and asked God for help to get through this time of my life and for some sign of hope to help me hold on.

This morning I read the following:
Any trial a believer faces can ultimately bring glory to God because God can bring good out of any bad situation.  When trouble comes, do you grumble, complain and blame God, or do you see your problems as opportunities to honor him? ~ Life Application Study Bible Devotion
This was convicting because I have been guilty of wanting to get out of trials instead of seeing God's purpose for the trials. I'm getting better at this, but I still complain, even if it's to myself, as my flesh wants to flee my circumstances.
How comforting to know we don't have to wait on our circumstances to work for our good. Instead we wait on God, because it's HIM who works for our good. He's trustworthy and faithful. {And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. ~Rom. 8:28} ~ Proverbs 31 Ministries from Facebook
This gave me a sense of peace. It also made me smile because about two weeks ago as I was waking up one morning the Holy Spirit brought Romans 8:28 to my mind, and since that time He has continued to bring this verse to my mind. God keeps reinforcing His message to me that He is actively working in my life for good regardless of what I perceive.

Then before lunch I had two prayers answered. The first was something I earnestly wanted, but knew there was no way for it to come about without God's intervention. The second was something I had been praying about for months. These answered prayers are yet further affirmative that God cares for me, He hears me when I pray, He meets my needs and He's working actively in my life.

I don't know how much longer this trial will last.  However, I do know that God is with me every step of the way working all things out for good, and when I need a renewed sense of hope, He will provide that too.




In His Word Friday - October 28, 2011




When Solomon had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace, the Lord appeared to him at night and said:

"I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:11-14 NIV)[emphasis added]

Linking with Nicole because some days I don't have much to say, but God's Word speaks volumes always.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What's On My Nightstand - October 2011


This month I've read:


Hurricanes in Paradise by Denise Hildreth Jones. This is the story of four women from different walks of life who meet in the Bahamas. While in paradise, each must deal with issues from their past in order to move forward with their future. While some serious issues are dealt with, the author manages to inject humor in appropriate places to give this book a good balance. As the title indicates, a hurricane strikes the island, which was predictable, but it's not the main theme of the story.  There was also some corporate sabotage which I didn't expect and which added a different twist to the story. This is the first book that I've read by this author, and I'm interested to read more by her.


2:46:  Aftershocks:  Stories from the Japan Earthquake by William Gibson, et al. This is an e-book which was complied days after the earthquake in Japan. Stories range from those who experienced the quake and its aftermath to others around the world as they attempted to reach their loved ones in Japan. The book provided great insight about what it was like in Japan before, during and after the earthquake and about how the citizens of Japan handled this epic event. I was struck by the Japanese fear of nature, but there was no reference to God. My only criticism of the book was that the article written by Yoko Ono was written in Japanese. Hers was the only article not to be translated for the book, and I didn't understand why.

Even Now (Lost Love Series #1) by Karen Kingsbury. This book tells the story of a young couple who are kept apart by their parents after an unplanned pregnancy. Years later the couple would be reunited by their child who has been raised by her maternal grandparents. While the couple's love has endured despite the years, they learn that their differing life experiences have shaped their opinions and political views differently and this threatens the sustainability of their relationship.

Ever After (Lost Love Series #2) by Karen Kingsbury. The couple from the preceding book is struggling to overcome their differences in order to make their relationship work while their daughter finds love and heartbreak. I found this book to be much more emotional than the first. Both were quick reads for me.

When I Lay My Isaac Down:  Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances by Carol J. Kent. The author gives an honest account of the days following her only child's arrest and conviction for first degree murder while drawing from the story in Genesis of God calling Abraham to offer Isaac on the altar.  The book made me realize that we all have our own "Isaac" that we must surrender to God and for Carol it was her expectations for her son and his life. Carol also describes how her friends ministered to her and her family during the early days of their unthinkable circumstance which illustrates different and creative ways to minister to those who are in need of encouragement. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

The 7-Day Doubt Diet: A Devotional Companion for A Confident Heart by Renee Swope. This devotional series in drawn from the author's book, A Confident Heart, which I want to read now. The devotional highlights different ways we doubt and how to combat them. My favorite tip was to keep track of my negative thoughts for a week and then using Scripture find truth to replace the doubting thoughts.

A Daughter's Inheritances (The Broadmoor Legacy #1) by Tracie Peterson. The story has young love, various plots to disinherit an heir and the beginning of an adventure as one character sets off to search for gold in the Yukon. In the book you will see some characters place a higher value on money while others values ministry more, all of which to the detriment of their relationships. To contrast this, the main character born to wealth and prestige desires only to have a loving family. I love Tracie Peterson's novels, and this one did not disappoint me. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

Powerful Prayers for Troubled Times by Stormie Omartian. This book convicted me to pray more and reminded me of the importance and the power of our prayers.  While the book ends with twelve specific prayers regarding our country and its leaders, the book also addresses the importance of forgiveness, having hope and praying continually. This will be a book that I will read again.

Linking with 5 Minutes for Books.

Friday, October 21, 2011

In His Word Friday - October 21, 2011



Only those who sin will be put to death. Children won’t suffer for the sins of their parents, and parents won’t suffer for the sins of their children. Good people will be rewarded for what they do, and evil people will be punished for what they do. 
Supposewicked people stop sinning and start obeying my laws and doing right. They won’t be put to death. All their sins will be forgiven, and they will live because they did right.  I, the Lord God, don’t like to see wicked people die. I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live.  
But when good people start sinning and doing disgusting things, will they live? No! All their good deeds will be forgotten, and they will be put to death because of their sins. 
Youpeople of Israel accuse me of being unfair! But listen—I’m not unfair; you are! If good people start doing evil, they must be put to death, because they have sinned. And if wicked people start doing right, they will save themselves from punishment. They will think about what they’ve done and stop sinning, and so they won’t be put to death. But you still say that I am unfair. You are the ones who have done wrong and are unfair!
I will judge each of you for what you've done. So stop sinning, or else you will certainly be punished.  Give up your evil ways and start thinking pure thoughts. And be faithful to me! Do you really want to be put to death for your sins? I, the Lord God, don't want to see that happen to anyone. So stop sinning and live! (Ezekiel18:20-32 CEV)[Emphasis added]
Linking with Nicole at Coming Alive in Christ.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Note to Self #12


From a Facebook friend:
Sailors in the northern oceans have frequently observed icebergs traveling in one direction in spite of strong winds blowing in the opposite direction.  The icebergs were moving against the winds, but how? The explanation is that the icebergs, with eight-ninths of their bulk under the water surface, were caught in the grip of strong currents that moved them in a certain direction, no matter which way the winds raged. In the Christian life, no matter how strongly the winds of passing opinions blow in opposition, the believer who has a depth of living in the currents of God's grace should move toward righteousness.
From Home Life:
We must be responsible stewards of what we've been given.  How can we worship and honor the Lord if our bodies are deteriorating from neglect? ~ Ben Greenfield
From In Touch:
God knows how to solve your problems, but He may choose to require your cooperation, possibly even asking you to do something that seems unreasonable.  But whenever we yield our flawed solutions and meager resources to Him and step out in obedience, He does great things in us and through us.
Prayer is not merely expressing our present desires. Its purpose is to exercise and train our desires, so that we want what He is getting ready to give us. His gift is very great, and we are small vessels for receiving it. So prayer involves widening our hearts to God. ~Augustine of Hippo
Linking with Barbara at Stray Thoughts.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #20

It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.
 2 Samuel 22:33 (NIV84)

Visit Beth for more information about joining the Siesta Scripture Memory Team.

Friday, October 14, 2011

In His Word Friday - October 14, 2011

For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.  Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

Lamentations 3:31-33, 40 (NIV)

Linking with Nicole at Coming Alive in Christ.

Monday, October 10, 2011

1000 Gifts - 551 to 568

Gifts from this past week...


551.  When I drove through a yellow light, the Holy Spirit telling me that I really need to slow down and stop when the light is yellow and
552.  That I need to stop making excuses why I'm disobeying traffic rules and God
553.  Conviction that I need to heed spiritual warnings in order to avoid danger


554.  A cheerful client that put a smile on my face and
555.  Who reminded me to see the joy and blessings that are present every single day
556.  The reminder that being joyful is a deliberate choice
557.  The lesson that when I chose to see joy in every day there will no longer be "okay" days or "bad" days.


558.  My Bible study group praying for my sister's surgery
559.  Being part of a Bible study group that ministers to the needs of others
560.  My sister's back pain being alleviated by the surgery
561.  Friend's advice on what to give my three year old niece for vomiting

562.  Over the counter cold medicine
563.  Puffs Plus with lotion
564.  Being able to pray to God about anything and everything
565.  God is interested in every detail of my life

566.  God is willing to listen to the things that bother me no matter how small
567.  God helping to make decisions in my life, both big and small
568.  Both of my co-workers' husbands getting new jobs after 6 months and 14 months of unemployment, respectively



Sunday, October 09, 2011

Daybook - October 9, 2001

Outside my window...78 degrees and partly cloudy

I am thinking...about everything that has happened already this month (both of my co-workers' husbands received new jobs which will require Stephanie and her family to move to Wisconsin, had company for the weekend, my sister had back surgery, watched my nephew and niece for my sister for several days while she recuperated from her surgery, I had a cold and missed some time from work) and what is going to happen the rest of the month (my birthday, I will say goodbye to my co-worker Stephanie, my stepdad will have surgery).

I am thankful...that God has provided jobs for my co-worker's husbands and that my sister's back pain is gone after her surgery and that she has had no complications.

In the kitchen...15 bean soup

I am going...back to work tomorrow after being out sick.

I am wondering...how much work piled up while I was out and how much farther behind I will be.

I am reading...Powerful Prayers for Troubled Times by Stormie Omartian

I am praying...that Stephanie's family has a smooth transition in their move to Wisconsin and that my stepdad's surgery is successfully with no complications.

I am looking forward to...seeing my friends at work tomorrow.

I am pondering..."Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things." Frank A. Clark

I have been convicted...to pray more faithfully for others.

One of my favorite things...is October days that we've been having with clear blue skies, cool temperatures in the morning and warming up in the afternoons with little or no humidity.

A few plans for the rest of the week...get together with my Bible study class on Friday, buy candy for the church Fall Festival and download the list from Operation Christmas Child regarding donations that can be placed in the shoeboxes.

A picture I am sharing...


Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 03, 2011

Lord Undo Me

I don't really worship these days
I don't really stand up to praise you with songs
Or prayers or actions or with anything
I am full of all the right moves
I am full of all the right words
I am full of all the right religion
But it is all just illusion
I am really lonely, lost, calloused, jaded, cynical
Too religious, too realistic
And well really just to lazy to worship you anymore
I have lost my first love
I have lost the joy of your presence
But most of all I have lost the fear of your glory

Father I need to see you again
Like Isaiah I want to stand in awe of your glory
To fall down at your feet to come face to face with your
Perfection, radiance, goodness, holiness, awesomeness
I want to stand before you and see you
For who you are and me for who I am
I want to be undone

I want to know me for who I really am
I want to see the depths of my heart
And know that you are the only way
You are the only truth
You are the only life
I want to see me and understand
What it really must have taken for you to
Love me, care for me, see me,
Speak to me, want me, communicate with me
Die for me
Die for me
Die for me

Lord, I want to stand in that place where
All I can see is your glory and my sin
Because in that place I can't help but worship you.
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
Lord, undo my heart
Break down these walls that I love so much
No, wait don't, I'm scared I don't know if I can handle this
don't

But I can't live this way anymore
I can't stand here in this half-life
This going through the motions life
This not really alive life
Father, I need you so come in and do what you must
Cut out the tumor in my heart
Break down the walls that I love
Lord let me come undone
Undo my heart
Let me worship you again

BLAKE WILLIAMS


I recently heard this while listening to J. D. Chandler on KLove and later found the words on his Facebook page. 

Mr. Williams' words spoke to me because I  realized the continual need to surrender every part of my life to God so there are no barriers between Him and me so I can worship and serve Him wholeheartedly. 

The idea of surrender is scary, but I know that's my flesh unwilling to give up control. In my heart I know I can surrender my all to God because He's in control and He loves me dearly, and until I surrender to Him I will never become all that He has planned for me to be.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Gifts Discovered on the Internet

Gifts from God are everywhere. Here's some that I discovered this week while surfing the Web:

546.  Alice's new love of her life, Tripp
547.  Seeing the depth of a mother's love and that love in action on Tripp's mother's blog
548.  Lisa's "I'm Afraid Of Being Stupid" which made me realize that God's grace is sufficient for me and all my stupid messes
549.  Erin reminding me that I'm irreplaceable to God
550.  Elysa and her family's heart for missions, particularly the children of Swaziland

In what unlikely places have you found gifts from God?




Saturday, October 01, 2011

Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #19

I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:24

I read this verse within the past week. It really spoke to me so I decided to commit it to memory.
How do you choose verses to memorize?


For more information about the Siesta Scripture Memory Team, visit Beth.

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