Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Perfect Sequence

I love the sequence laid out in this Scripture. I've seen it played out in my life throughout the years and especially throughout these last several days. I tend to throw myself into a pity party when I get sick. I get down partly because of the illness, partly because of the medicines I have to take to get well, and mostly because of myself.

The message of this Scripture doesn't necessarily speak to illnesses like sinus infections, red throat, red ears, respiratory viruses and bronchitis, though. It speaks to life. Oh, how I I tend to miss the first part - rejoicing - in times of suffering! Let's go on a journey and look at the perfect sequence of this Scripture.


The Greek word for rejoice is kauchaomai. This big word is a verb, which implies action. It's an ongoing thing. It means:

1) to glory (whether with reason or without)
2) to glory on account of a thing
3) to glory in a thing

Whatever our circumstances are, we can rejoice in the midst of it, whether we have reason to or not. What do we rejoice in? The situation? Sure. It's hard, but we can rejoice when illness strikes, when a loved one dies, when dreaded news is delivered or when the economy takes a downward spiral. We can rejoice when jobs are lost or wickedness rules the earth. When morality has taken a nose-dive and we see the love wax cold. Why? Because we know that God works everything out for His own glory.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28 (NIV)

While we don't rejoice because of our suffering, we can rejoice in the midst of them. How?

Through faith. We know that faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Why? Our faith is in God! God is the ultimate Victor!

"for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." ~ 1 John 5:4-5 (NIV)


The Greek word for suffering here is thlipsis. This word means:

1) a pressing, pressing together, pressure
2) metaph. oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits

Who among us has not experienced suffering in the forms listed above? The pressure of life is largely due to sin in the world. We live in a fallen world and are under the curse of the land and people given by God back in the day when Adam and Eve made a very wrong choice. We were not promised a life of ease and care-free living here on earth, but what we are promised is that if we trust in God He will see us through our suffering. He will never forsake us.

"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." ~ Psalm 9:10 (NIV)

Our suffering is not meaningless. It produces something within us and around us that is for God's ultimate glory.


The Greek word for perseverance is hypomonē. It means:

1) steadfastness, constancy, endurance
a) in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
b) patiently, and steadfastly
2) a patient, steadfast waiting for
3) a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance

Enduring suffering is not an easy task. We are taken through grief, sadness, shock, hurt, anger, confusion and a whole list of emotions that could easily fill a book. If we remain steadfast and endure, learning to be patient as we go through these, we are promised a reward.

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." ~ James 1:12 (NIV)

The same word for persevere is used in Romans 5:3-4! Perserverance has its rewards. God has promised to reward us as we persevere and endure our trials. It's not easy to go through them but God is with us every step of the way. He never abandons us as we endure.

"For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance." ~ Psalm 94:14 (NIV)

As Christians, we are the Lord's inheritance. If you are Jewish, you are priveleged to be the first love of God. As Gentiles, we have been grafted into the branch and have received that inheritance as well. See Romans 11 for more on this subject.

I rejoice that His love is everlasting and that He will never forsake me.

Whatever our trials are, we must lean on God to get us through them. He will help us to endure.


The next step in this sequence is character. We have rejoiced in our sufferings, persevered in our trials and are promised that character is built.

The Greek word for character is dokimē. This precious noun means:

1) proving, trial
2) approved, tried character
3) a proof, a specimen of tried worth

We are living proof and have been approved and tried by God through our rejoicing, suffering and endurance.

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." ~ Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

We're ready to do what Christ has called us to do because He has enabled us to do it. He has prepared for us works that we probably couldn't have done had we not gone through the first part of this sequence.

One of the biggest trials in my life that I faced was infertility and the loss of a child to miscarriage. Sydney Michel was born and went to be with the Lord at an early age on July 20, 1998. Because I persevered, not by my own strength but by God's, I am now able to help and encourage other women who have gone through this same tragedy. I have been given a gift to find words to strengthen them and lift them up and encourage them that loss is not all there is. There is a hope for them yet. I've also endured some emotional and verbal abuse as a child from an alcholic father. My father is a recovered alcoholic, praise the Lord, and I have been able to take the lessons I have learned through the suffering of that period of my life and help others.

Similarly, I have been helped by others who have endured trials. While I won't name names, there is someone who has been particularly encouraging to me as she has a relative who is enduring an illness suffered by a family member of mine. She has been a tremendous source of encouragement to me and I have found hope in the character developed through the rejoicing, suffering and perseverance she has undergone.


I love this next one! Hope! Oh, precious hope.

The Greek word for hope used here is elpis. This word means:

1) expectation of evil, fear
2) expectation of good, hope
a) in the Christian sense
1) joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation
3) on hope, in hope, having hope
a) the author of hope, or he who is its foundation
b) the thing hoped for
We run through the gamut of emotions and look for things to cling to when we reach this phase of the sequence. We have can have the hope of evil or fear or we can have the hope of good. As we see above, in the Christian sense, it can be a joyful and confident hope! Our hope should always be in Christ, my friend. Our hope in Him does not disappoint. It is what brings us out of the pit!

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." ~ Psalm 40:2 (NIV)

Just as God lifted the Psalmist out of the slimy pit, He is our hope to lift us up out of the sufferings we have endured.

"...weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." ~ Psalm 30:5 (NIV)

Our suffering does not last forever. We have the expectation of hope that God will prevail. He truly is the thing hoped for in every aspect of this sequence.


Love is the string that wraps this sequence of suffering, perservance, character and hope all neatly in the box in the end.

The Greek word for love in this verse is agapē. It means:

1) affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love
2) love feasts

It's root word is agapaō, which means:

1) of persons
a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
2) of things
a) to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

God pours this kind of love into our hearts for others. He gives it to us through the power of His Holy Spirit. He is the epitome of all these things and gives us this love to extend to others as we have gone through suffering, perserverance, character and hope.

This love speaks of faith and hope that drives us to rejoicing through the suffering, propels us into perserverance, enables our character to be developed and beckons us to hope. Love is the foundation of the whole sequence of these events.

Are you suffering? I would encourage you to persevere. Perseverance is what really caught my attention in this sequence in the first place.

"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 (NIV)

In Closing

Rejoicing, suffering, perseverance, character, hope and love are all based on trust in the Living God.

Father, Mighty God, King of kings and Lord of lords, enable us under Your mighty power to trust in you as we persevere through life's problems. Your Word says in Hebrews 10:36 that we need to persevere so that when we have done Your will, we will receive what You have promised. We know one of your promises to those of us who believe in You and have taken Your Son as our personal Savior and Lord is eternal life. Help us to persevere and run the race marked out for us with Your help and strength. Thank You for giving us endurance under Your mighty hand and perfecting Your love in us. Help us to receive encouragement from those who have suffered before us, and help us to give encouragement through our sufferings to ease the load of others. Most of all, let it all be wrapped in love and for Your glory, Lord. Trusting that perseverance pays off in the victory of eternal life through the Matchless Name of our Savior and Lord, Amen.

P - Proceed through trials with God's good help. "May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." ~ Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV)

E - Endure hardships with the peace of God. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 (NIV)

R - Remain steadfast in the trusting the Lord. "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal." ~ Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)

S - Stand firm against the Enemy. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. " ~ 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

E - Encourage yourself by reading the Bible daily. "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." ~ Romans 15:4 (NIV)

V - Visualize God pulling you up from the pit. "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." ~ Psalm 40:2 (NIV)

E - Expect the help of the Lord. "In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." ~ Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

R - Reach out to God and to others for prayer during suffering, no matter what the cause. "Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven." ~ James 5:13-15 (NIV)

A - Accept instruction from godly men and women. "Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise." ~ Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)

N - Never forget God's love and faithfulness. "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." ~ Lamentations 3:21-23 (NIV)

C - Continue to praise God. "Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always." ~ 1 Chronicles 16:10-11 (NIV)

E - Embrace the victory that will come through the Lord. "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)

Look familiar? This is yet another re-run, originally posted March 4, 2009. I'm getting there. Life is busy at work, at home, and my computer is on its last leg. I am shopping for a new one maybe next week. Aunt Dolores, who lived Proverbs 31:25-26 out loud, passed away today, and I thought this post would help me reconcile grief with rejoicing. As I have read through this post, it has! I hope this message touches your heart today and helps you relaize that the perfect sequence is rooted in Christ. As always, if you don't know my Jesus, email me at and let me introduce you. Your life will NEVER be the same again, I can promise you that!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Emotional Contentment

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." ~ Philippians 4:11-12 (NIV)

Was Paul some kind of superhero that he could remain content no matter what? Did he just have such a reign on his emotions that he found it easy to be so even-keeled?
  • What challenges do you face in remaining content?
  • How do you remain content in joy and in times of trouble?
  • What's the secret?
  • Who's the secret?
  • Is it us or Jesus?
  • How do you define contentment?
  • Is it a feeling or a state of being?
  • Is it based on the state of your heart and mind or is it based on where your heart is focused?
Paul was far from a superhero. He was human, merely a mortal, just like the rest of us. I believe that as a man he was probably more level-headed (read hormonally free) from acting on emotions as I know I am prone to do as a woman, but he faced some major ups and downs along the path he traveled.

If asked, I doubt he would say it was easy to remain so even-keeled. In fact, throughout his letters he showed us that he did indeed have a temper. He did become down. He was beaten and imprisoned for Christ. He was bitten by a snake. He was sick with fever. He sewed tents for a living. His duties weren't preaching 3 sermons a week and feeding one flock. He shephereded many and traveled extensively to do so.

And Yet He Remained Content

The Greek word for content is autarkēs and means:

1) sufficient for one's self, strong enough or processing enough to need no aid or support
2) independent of external circumstances
3) contented with one's lot, with one's means, though the slenderest

The second definition stands out to me. Independent of external circumstances. Can we remain content despite the externals around us?

Since we don't live in a bubble, it's safe to say that the externals of life are crazy busy trying to worm their way into our hearts. Worries, fears, concerns, activities, jobs, busyness, entertainment, vices, time-stealers, etc.

We all face circumstances in our lives that threaten to rock our world. With each phone call or email or visit from someone, our worlds are threatened to be rocked. Can we remain content despite the external circumstances surrounding us? Yes. We can take a lesson from Paul.

Paul's Secret...Our Secret

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." ~ Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

We find in this verse that although Paul faced many challenges in remaining content, he had Jesus on our side. We can say the same.

Whether we are high on the mountaintop or in the throws of depression, we, too, can be content, or rather, have the potential to become content, knowing that our strength comes from Jesus.

The Greek word for strength is endynamoō. This verb means:

1) to be strong, endue with strength, strengthen
2) to receive strength, be strengthened, increase in strength
3) in a bad sense
a) be bold, headstrong

It's all about Jesus. Looking up when we are feeling down. Looking up when we're feeling up. Looking within our hearts where He dwells. Finding our strength for contentment in Him.

It's easy to be content when times are good, but truth be told, it's hard to be content all the time. I do believe there are some things we can do that can help us *learn* to be content.

Breathe - Sometimes we just forget to breathe. Taking a deep breath re-fills our lungs and sends oxygen to our brains, clearing our thoughts, reminding us that God has us in His hands. God has made our life nothing but a vapor. "You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath. Selah" ~ Psalm 39:5 (NIV)

Focus - Focusing on Christ as the source of our contentment can help us find peace during the hardest of times. "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." ~ Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

Pray - God is faithful to hear our prayers. Just knowing He is listening is very comforting. Think back to a time when God has answered your prayer and remember His faithfulness. "I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer." ~ Psalm 17:6 (NIV)

Release - Literally casting our anxiety on Christ, we can find true contentment. The key to this is not taking that anxiety back. Leave it with Jesus, who is far better equipped to deal with it than we are. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." ~ 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Wrapping It Up

No matter what our circumstances are, let's learn with the apostle Paul to be content whatever the situation. Let's take a stand and decide today that we will not let anxiety or emotion keep us in the pit. Let's rest in the knowledge that with God on our side, the victory is won and there is hope for a better tomorrow.

Questions for Reflection: Are you willing to choose to be content despite the externals around you? Where does your source of contentment come from?

Prayer: Father, help us to choose contentment. Help us to remember that with You the victory has been won over all the externals in our life competing for our emotional struggles. Thank You for Jesus and the grace that comes through Him to give us this contentment. We praise You for settling our hearts on You and helping us learn that true contentment is a marker of spiritual maturity in You. Help us keep growing and learning in You and please receive the glory and honor we give You for the life's lessons we learn. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

C - Look for comfort from God, not the world. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me." ~ John 14:1 (NIV)

O - Operate based on what God's Word says, not what your emotions say. "But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." ~ 1 John 2:5-6 (NIV)

N - Nourish yourself by reading God's Word daily. "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path." ~ Psalm 119:103-104 (NIV)

T - Trust God to keep you in perfect peace, no matter what comes your way. "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." ~ Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

E - Ensure that you spend plenty of time with God in prayer. "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." ~ Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

N - Never doubt Jesus as your source of strength through faith. "Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done." ~ Matthew 21:21 (NIV)

T - Trust God so completely that living a life of contement and emotional stability is as natural as breathing. "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah" ~ Psalm 62:8 (NIV)

If you liked this post, you might enjoy I Don't Have to Know It All or How Great is His Love.

Note: This post is a re-run from Monday, May 18, 2009.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Blogging Break

I'll pop in and read some blogs but won't be posting until Monday.
Always feel free to email me at or find me on facebook. I love hearing from friends!


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Welcome to Tuesdays Together in the Word, hosted by DeeDee Warren at I Have No Greater Joy... We are a group of bloggers reading God's Word and sharing with each other a "nugget" or three of what we are learning. DeeDee has the plan posted on her sidebar. Join in with us, won't you? You don't have to begin at the beginning.

This week we read:

  • Ephesians 2-6
  • Psalm 54-55
  • Proverbs 13
Weighing Our Words

"He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." ~ Proverbs 13:3 (NIV)

The first time I read the Bible from cover to cover, the Holy Spirit had a running theme going with me. I saw a commonality throughout the Scriptures that the words I speak do matter and that I should pay careful attention to them. This was a Scripture I really thought about for quite a while. Our words have weight behind them and can lead to victory or ruin in our lives.

Guard My Words

What does setting a guard over my lips actually entail? The Hebrew word for guard is natsar. This is a verb that means:

1) to guard, watch, watch over, keep
a) (Qal)
1) to watch, guard, keep
2) to preserve, guard from dangers
3) to keep, observe, guard with fidelity
4) to guard, keep secret
5) to be kept close, be blockaded
6) watchman (participle)

Guarding my words involves carefully considering what I say. Wisdom, discretion and motive are things to be considered here.

I have to ask myself if what I have to say is something someone really needs to know. Some of the words that are so easy to speak are actually things that should be closely kept, guarded as a matter of confidence, perhaps because someone has asked us not to say anything or because we know that discretion dictates not telling everything we know just to be saying it.

How can we keep our words so closely to our hearts? I think the outline of biblical usage for guard as mentioned above is key. We do what it says.

Watch, keep, guard, preserve, keep close, blockade...

Rash Talk

Speaking rashly can cause a downfall in our lives more quickly than anything else. If we utter profanity, we lose our witness. If we gossip or slander someone, there's a great chance it will get back to them before we know it.

Rashly speaking hurts not only ourselves but those we love and those we have other types of relationships with.

The Hebrew word for rash is pasaq. This verb means:
1) to part, open wide
a) (Qal)
1) to open wide
2) to be talkative (of the mouth)
b) (Piel) to open wide

Is it easier to hold our tongues when our mouths are open or closed? Closed, of course. We should keep the lid on rash talk. But how?

I think it is vital to pray before we begin our day or to go into meetings, even before answering the phone or chatting with friends, whether in person or online. One prayer I pray every time I go to meet with friends is this verse:

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." ~ Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

Do I always have victory in this area of my life? Let me give you a word picture for the answer.

I'm striving toward it!

Besides prayer, we need to check our self-control meter. We temper our words and lack of self-control in this area if we are struggling. Most of all, we need to purpose in our hearts that each and every one of the words we speak will glorify God and bring Him honor, not discredit Him to others who are watching and listening to the example we set.

S - self-control is so important in guarding the words we speak
P - pray about the words you say, do they honor God, do they honor others
E - expect fallbacks - we are not perfect, but we can be forgiven
A - always count to 10 before you share something or respond to something "questionable"
K - kindness goes such a long way in setting an example for others to follow
I - invite God to be your mouthpiece before you begin your day
N - notice the speech of those around you - it can rub off on you
G - grumbling mouths are a sign of grumbling hearts


Monday, June 08, 2009

At the Well - Have you Been Overlooked?

It's happened to all of us. Whether we were the last chosen for kickball in gym class or passed over for a promotion at work or perhaps not even given so much as a thank you for hard work, being overlooked is something that has been happened in the past, still happens today, and will continue to happen in the future. Why? I think it has to do with two things.

The Outward Appearance

"But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." ~ 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

The Lord instructed Samuel to keep going on down the line when he was looking for the next king the Lord would name for Israel. Samuel saw one of David's brothers, apparently a handsome and strong looking guy, and thought, "This is the one!" Samuel made the mistake many of us have done before. People who are more outgoing or more handsome in appearance tend to become noticed before one who is more introverted or quiet does.

I would encourage you to seek out those who are quiet and befriend them. Ask them to participate in service and in your circle of friends. Are they not the best dressed, most refined people in the pews? Oh my stars! David came straight in from the field, smelled like sheep and was annointed king over Israel! He had a ruddy complexion in a world where most men were probably evenly tanned. I imagine he was so red from being windburned out in the field keeping watch over the flocks.


Another reason I believe people are overlooked is because of the busyness of the world. We get so caught up in the externals that we forget to look at those around us. We go in to church, check our kids in the nursery, speak to everyone we haven't spoken to in a few days and gravitate toward the familiar people in Sunday School or church, perhaps not even paying attention to the new couple in the pew (unless you need help in the nursery or a Sunday School class that needs teaching.) Show the love of Christ to them. Don't ignore them. Speak to them more than once and call before Monday night visitation to see if you can run by for a minute to tell them how much you enjoyed having them in the church.

In daily life, slow down. Don't get so stuck in your routine that you exclude people from your life who aren't just like you. Jesus ate with tax collectors and the sort. We, too, should seek out the ones around us who are in need of a friend.

The Remedy

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." ~ 1 John 4:11 (NIV)

Being overlooked is never a good feeling. We should be quick to extend God's love to everyone and keep it in action. Let's develop relationships with those who are new in our circle of friends. Make it on-going. Don't speak to a person once and assume you've greeted them with a holy kiss so your due dilligence is done. That's not how it works. It takes effort. It takes time. It takes love.

When we're overlooked, what can we do?

The same. Love one another. Rather than stewing in our juices that someone hasn't taken notice of us, let's keep working for God. Rather than being sad that no one other than the preacher and the deacon of the week spoke to us at church on Sunday let's find a church home where we are shown love.

Have you ever been overlooked?

I have.

How did it make you feel? How did you react?

It reinforced the belief (at the time) that since I didn't have children I was doomed to be an outcast forever. It hurt. I was shocked at the lack of love shown since we had just come from a church with no youth group to a larger one for Kristyn to be a part of. When I would get to the sanctuary before Steve, I would sit in the pew and watch all the women who had either grown up together or had children the same ages in the same schools all congregate up at the front of the church and it would break my heart. When Steve was with me things were so different. We were welcomed by the men and their wives. But when I was alone, even a woman I considered a good friend (we visited together outside almost every night for a few years) would walk up the aisle, lay her hand on my shoulder, and join the women up front.

I did try to participate in the group, but I didn't fit in. How do you contribute to conversations about teething and immunizations when you just don't know? I'd try to change the subject but it came back to children. I was glad I made the effort, though. Remaining impassive will leave you wondering. The fact was that I just did not belong. Eventually I just stopped going. Some of the men called Steve. None of the women called me. Not even the one I hung out with outside of church. We still hung out together but she never mentioned our not going. Funny thing: I invited her to the church. How strange is that? She had children and fit right in.

It's important to note that sometimes we are overlooked because of an attitude or behavior we display, so I did a self-check. I am well-liked at work. I don't cuss, I pretty much know when to keep my mouth shut, and I don't dress out of the norm. I am a nice person. I don't smell. I am not sure why, other than the fact that perhaps they thought infertility was catching, I was excluded. I wasn't excluded at any other church I had ever attended. I moved on. It's also important to note that I'm not blasting women in the church. Not even the women in that church. Maybe they didn't even realize they were excluding me. Maybe I just wasn't a fit for their group. It's not something I ruminate on and stew about. In fact, today is the first time I thought about it in a long time, but I have to say that it still stings.

What can you do as a Titus 2 woman, to be sure you don't overlook the important things (or people) in your life?

I think it is so important to reach out to women and make sure they are included. We need to seek out the ones sitting alone and introduce them to our friends. We need to invite them to join in on conversations and make a concerted effort to reach out to them.

Mentoring other women and modeling Christ's love is the heart of Titus 2:3-5.

"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." ~ Titus 2:3-5 (NIV)

We need to ask ourselves the tough questions. Are we being reverent in the way we live? If so, then we will reach out. Are we teaching what is good? If so, then we will reach out. Are we ensuring that no one maligns the Word of God? If so, then we will reach out.

We must reach out. We must include. We must. We must love.

For more At the Well posts and to share your own, be sure to visit and link up.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Spiritual Sweet Tooth

Laurie, from Women Taking a Stand, is hosting Thankful Thursday for the month of June.

Laurie asks, "What kind of taste does reading and meditating upon the Word leave in your mouth? Is it a sweet taste or a sour one?"
God's timing is always perfect. Last night I asked God to wake me up early this morning so I could spend time with Him in the Word. Usually I sleep until the alarm goes off, but this morning my eyes flew open about 40 minutes earlier than normal. I was completely rested, which was a surprise, given the fact that I had stayed up way too late reading last night.
I'm journeying through the Old Testament right during my personal devotion time and I'm in 2 Chronicles. I'm reading about what I just read about in 1 Chronicles, the articles for the temple that Solomon built for the Lord. It used to be that my favorite readings from the Bible came from the New Testament, but God has given me a taste for the richness of the history of how His chosen people worshipped Him, and how devoted some were to Him. I love reading about the history of the kings, the battles they fought and how some came to a place where they realized they were not honoring God and made changes. Sadly, some did not. I love how God spoke during the Old Testament times.
I thanked God this morning that I live in a country where I am free to read my Bible in my home without fear of a secret police knocking on my door and making my life miserable. I am so thankful that I don't live in constant fear of knowing that this could be my last day on earth just because I chose to worship God in prayer and in reading my Bible.
"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" ~ Psalm 119:103 (NIV)
What are you thankful for today? I'm thankful for the Word of the Lord, that He has quickened it to my heart and leaves me desiring more of it every day.
Note: I have a busy day today! I'm supposed to be in meetings from 9 - 11 and from 2 - 4. That could change but somehow I doubt it. I'll catch up with everyone this evening or tomorrow. Much love and blessings, and may you have a Happy Thankful Thursday!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

WFW - Living A Life that Honors Christ

Receiving Christ is but the first step to our journey of living a life that honors Him. The Greek word for receive is paralambanō. This verb means:

1) to take to, to take with one's self, to join to one's self
a) an associate, a companion
b) metaph.
1) to accept or acknowledge one to be such as he professes to be
2) not to reject, not to withhold obedience
2) to receive something transmitted
a) an office to be discharged
b) to receive with the mind
1) by oral transmission: of the authors from whom the tradition proceeds
2) by the narrating to others, by instruction of teachers (used of disciples)

I love the descriptiveness that the Greek transliteration offers. I am especially fond of these: to take to, to take with one's self, to join to one's self, and not to reject, not to withhold obedience. Receiving Christ in our lives truly transforms who we are into becoming more like Him.

"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ." ~ Ephesians 4:15 (NIV)

As we live out a life that honors Christ, one of our missions is to reach other people around us for Him. We have to first tend to ourselves first if we are to make a lasting impact on others for Christ. What are some ways we can honor Him?

Continuing to Live in Him

The Greek word for continue is peripateō. This verb means:

1) to walk
a) to make one's way, progress; to make due use of opportunities
b) Hebrew for, to live
1) to regulate one's life
2) to conduct one's self
3) to pass one's life

Doing regular self-checks allows us to see where we are in our walk with Him and our conduct with Him. Are we making the most out of the opportunities He has available? Are we reading our Bibles every day? Are we praying daily? Are we maintaining our conduct and bearing the fruits of the Spirit for Him? If not, why not? Have we become complacent, just doing what's good enough to get by? If we have, it's time to adjust ourselves and get back on the straight and narrow path He has set before us.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." ~ John 15:5 (NIV)

Staying Rooted and Built Up in Him

The Greek word for rooted is rhizoō. This, too, is a verb that means:

1) to cause to strike root, to strengthen with roots, to render firm, to fix, establish, cause a person or a thing to be thoroughly grounded

What are the basics we learned early on in our walk with God? We need to establish regular times of quietness and devotion to Him, reading and studying our Bibles, praying, praising, and planting those roots deep for Him. The basics are what we need to turn to when we find ourselves adrift and just going through the motions. Most of our roots run deep. The deeper the root planted by the stream, the more water to fill it up in times of need.

"He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." ~ Jeremiah 17:8 (NIV)

We were also built up in Him and should continue to remain so. The Greek word for built up is epoikodomeō. This verb means:

1) to build upon, build up

and comes from the root word oikodomeō, also a verb, which means:

1) to build a house, erect a building
a) to build (up from the foundation)
b) to restore by building, to rebuild, repair
2) metaph.
a) to found, establish
b) to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness
c) to grow in wisdom and piety

These are some excellent standards to measure how we are building ourselves up in Christ and remaining rooted in Him. They also beg us to ask the tough questions, are we promoting Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness and are we growing in wisdom and piety or humility? Our foundation is rock solid in Christ, but if we're building our lives here on earth with earth as our mindset, we're building our faith on the things of this earth, things that will one day be no more. What will last?

"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind." ~ Isaiah 65:17 (NIV)

Perhaps on the new earth some things will be in Heaven, things that Christ chooses to restore and make last for eternity, but the principle theme is that He makes all things new and for His glory. Are we storing up for ourselves treasures for Heaven or treasures for earth? Perhaps the better question is, "Are we building a life that glorifies ourselves or God?"

Staying Strengthened in Faith

The times are troubling. We have the threat of nuclear weapons coming out of Iran, North Korea, and the rumors of war are rumbling once again. Health scares top our list of concerns, with the recent outbreak of swine flu. Concern grips us about even every day life. We take precautions everywhere we go and who among us does not lock their doors at night? (Don't answer that if you live in the boondocks and have only family around for miles, ha!)
For those of us who are watching the news and seeing Scripture literally come to fulfillment in the headlines of the news, remaining strengthened in faith is essential.

The Greek word for strenghtened is bebaioō. This verb means:

1) to make firm, establish, confirm, make sure

The root word is bebaios and means:

1) stable, fast, firm
2) metaph. sure, trusty

How firm and sure, stable and fast is our faith in God? Do we only have faith for the good times and not the bad? Though we may be shaken by tragedies that come our way, do we choose to praise Him in advance, trusting that He is still God no matter what? Our faith must be strong during times such as this, not only the news-y events of the world, but for our day to day lives as well. Many of us don't know what tomorrow holds for a loved one we are praying for or what a medical test may report. Some of us have been gripped by the loss of children or loved ones, physically or prodigally speaking. Can we say that our faith is strong? We must. If it's not, we must increase it by calling on the name of our God and asking Him for more of it and to strengthen what little we do have, then cling to the promise He shares in His Word.

"He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." ~ Luke 17:6 (NIV)

The Greek word for faith is pistis. It is:

1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it
a) relating to God
1) the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
b) relating to Christ
1) a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God
c) the religious beliefs of Christians
d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same
2) fidelity, faithfulness
a) the character of one who can be relied on

Search the list. Do you have this kind of faith? If so, are you allowing God to strengthen it in you? Living a life of faith says that we don't know what tomorrow will bring, but we know that our Savior is going to be there to walk with me so we need not be afraid. Living a life of faith says no to the things the world screams for you to do when you know it goes against your moral beliefs. Living a life of faith says that you quietly trust and rely on God when everyone around you is panicking. And living a life of strong faith says, "No matter what, I will praise the Lord for the simple fact that He is the Lord."

Continuing to Overflow with Thankfulness

What are you thanking the Lord for today? God is a God of blessing and love. He loves to endow us with blessing and favor. He provides us with the best of things He knows we need. When I was growing up, I learned that manners were more than those little fish that swam in Uncle Jimmy's pond. When you received something, you said, "Thank you."

Just as we thank others for things they do for us, we should never neglect being thankful to God. In fact, our thankfulness should overflow.

The Greek word for overflow is actually another word for abounding, perisseuō. This is a verb that means:

1) to exceed a fixed number of measure, to be left over and above a certain number or measure
a) to be over, to remain
b) to exist or be at hand in abundance
1) to be great (abundant)
2) a thing which comes in abundance, or overflows unto one, something falls to the lot of one in large measure
3) to redound unto, turn out abundantly for, a thing
c) to abound, overflow
1) to be abundantly furnished with, to have in abundance, abound in (a thing), to be in affluence
2) to be pre-eminent, to excel
3) to excel more than, exceed
2) to make to abound
a) to furnish one richly so that he has abundance
b) to make abundant or excellent

We should offer God our most high form of thanksgiving, lavishing Him with praise just as He lavishes us with the blessings we may not even deserve. If God has given us things we ask for, how much more so we should overflow with thankfulness for that good.

I have found that through the years that excelling in offering our thanksgiving to God sometimes requires a sacrifice. It's hard to overflow with thankfulness when crises arise, but we must maintain an attitude of thankfulness in our hearts and sacrifice that to God. Looking for the sliver of good that comes from a horrid situation with the mindset Christ has offered us through the power of His Holy Spirit will enable us to still overflow with thankfulness.

The Greek word for thankfulness is eucharistia. It means:

1) thankfulness
2) the giving of thanks

The root word speaks to the attitude of thankfulness. Eucharistos means:

1) mindful of favours, grateful, thankful
2) pleasing, agreeable
3) acceptable to others, winning, liberal, beneficent

Are we mindful of favors, grateful and thankful to God in the way He chooses to bless us? Are we pleasing and agreeable to Him? Do we pass His blessings on, being acceptable to others in our attitude of thankfulness to them? Are we liberal and beneficient, willing to to share the love?

The Psalmist offered a precious prayer of thankfulness in Psalm 111. I encourage you to read it and see how his heart overflowed with thankfulness.

Wrapping it Up

Questions for Reflection: Are you choosing to live in Him, staying rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in your faith and overflowing with thanksgiving? If not, why not? What are some steps you can incorporate to change your attitude? If you haven't made the decision to follow Him, please email me at and let me introduce you to my Savior.

Verse of the Day: "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 (NIV)

Prayer: Father, we have received Your precious Son as Lord of our lives. Help us continue to build on the faith You have given us, living in Him, attached to the Vine. Help us to remain rooted and built up in Jesus, strengthing our faith in Him daily, and having an attitude that overflows with thankfulness. Your grace alone causes my cup to overflow, and I praise You for that, Father. Thank You so much for loving us enough to send Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins, a debt we could never pay on our own. I praise You that death could not hold Him and that He rose again on the third day, and that we, too, will rise in the newness of life in Heaven with You one day since we have accepted Him. May all we do be for Your glory and not our own. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

Living a life that honors Christ requires us to constantly monitor our growth in Him.

G - Glorify the name of the Lord. "I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." ~ Psalm 86:12 (NIV)

R - Reverently live your life in a way that bears the fruit of the Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

O - Obey God's commandments. "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love." ~ John 15:10 (NIV)

W - Wisely seek God's will for your life. "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." ~ Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

T - Trust in Him for your strength. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." ~ John 14:1 (NIV)

H - Help others develop a love for Jesus. “He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” ~ Mark 16:15 (NIV)

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. e-Lisa, from Extravagant Grace, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button below.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Welcome to Tuesdays Together in the Word, hosted by DeeDee Warren at I Have No Greater Joy... We are a group of bloggers reading God's Word and sharing with each other a "nugget" or three of what we are learning. DeeDee has the plan posted on her sidebar. Join in with us, won't you? You don't have to begin at the beginning.
This week we read:
Making Prayer a Priority

Establishing times set apart to devote to God in prayer are extremely important, too. Many of us have established quiet times; others of us are hit and miss. We should aim to meet with God at least once a day for an extended period of time. I'm not talking about spending four hours in prayer with God the minute your feet hit the floor each morning or scheduling prayers for certain times, although if you feel so called, you should do that. (I don't. I spend anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes and sometimes an hour, and although I would love it to be, it's not always the minute I wake up.)
I also think it's important to breathe a prayer and a promise to God frequently throughout the day, letting him know your hope is in Him and to keep you mindful of what He wants you to accomplish.

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." ~ Colossians 4:2 (NIV)
Devotion is not something to be entered into lightly. It's a commitment of the strongest sort.
The Greek word for devote is proskartereō. This is a verb that means:
1) to adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one
2) to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing
3) to continue all the time in a place
4) to persevere and not to faint
5) to show one's self courageous for
6) to be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly
Prayer is something we must remain constant and steadfast in. We know that Satan won't be happy about this, so perseverance and courage are two things we must have to persevere in. We must also be on the ready and waiting constantly for response as our Savior hears our prayers.

The Greek word for prayer is proseuchē, which means:

1) prayer addressed to God
2) a place set apart or suited for the offering of prayer
a) a synagogue
b) a place in the open air where the Jews were wont to pray, outside the cities, where they had no synagogue
1) such places were situated upon the bank of a stream or the shore of a sea, where there was a supply of water for washing the hands before prayer
Prayer is our line of communication with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Prayers can be lengthy, short, complex or simple. They can be said in private or public. They can be used for praise, intercession, supplication, confession, repentance, etc.

With the mandate from Paul to devote ourselves to prayer, we are also told to remain watchful and thankful.

At first I thought that remaining watchful meant to be on the lookout for answers to prayer. Certainly we are to do that, but on closer examination of this word in Strong's, I discovered a concept new to me.

The Greek word for watch is grēgoreō, which means:

1) to watch
2) metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active
a) to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one

There are times when I have forgotten to pray. Some mornings I oversleep and hit the floor running to make it to work on time. Other nights I fall asleep listening to my iPod without praying. There are times I forget to ask God's blessing on the food I eat.

Here we are reminded to give strict attention to prayer and to be active in it, for if we don't something might happen, if I'm understanding it correctly. We know that God hears our prayers, and if we aren't faithful to pray them, I wonder how often we miss the chance to ask God to change something when we don't pray? I know He doesn't depend on us to tell Him how to work, but He is faithful to hear and act on the prayers of His people. There are many examples of things that were changed in the Bible because of prayer. Illnesses healed, wars won, etc. And how many blessings might we be missing if we neglect being watchful?

We are also admonished to be thankful.

The Greek word for thankful here is eucharistia, which means:

1) thankfulness
2) the giving of thanks

I'm reminded here to always be thankful and to actually give thanks to God for the prayers He so faithfully answers for me.

I pray that we will honor God and remain devoted to Him, both in prayer and the reading of His Word.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." ~ Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

I want God's Word to light the path we're on and to teach, train and equip us. The Bible is God-breathed. He inspired men of old to write the very Words He spoke to their hearts. I want it to come alive within me, and I pray the same for you.

"May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD." ~ Psalm 104:34 (NIV)

P - Present your all your requests to God with thanksgiving. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

R - Remember that His purpose will prevail and trust in His will. "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." ~ Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

A - Allow for multiple prayer times throughout the day. "Pray without ceasing." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)

Y - Yearn to spend more time with Him in prayer. "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." ~ Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

E - Exalt and praise God in prayer. "The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!" ~ Psalm 18:46 (NIV)

R - Remember to ask for His cleansing when needed. "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." ~ Psalm 51:6-7 (NIV)


Monday, June 01, 2009

Who Is Your Advisor?
Gina Smith from Chats with an Old Lady is guest hosting at The Well today.
She writes, "As women, if we are not careful, we will buy into to what our society holds up as our standard. While in the grocery store, I see magazine after magazine that dictates to us what we should be wearing. I have seen several magazines that target women who are in their 40's and 50's and encourage them to dress and carry themselves in a way that draws attention to their bodies, and to look young and sexy. These magazines also promote products that promise to work a miracle on our aging bodies."
Interestingly enough, Gina learned some lessons recently by watching a show about what not to wear to the grocery store. One of the things Gina learned was "You MUST NOT wear sneakers to the grocery store. That looks JUST AWFUL! That is a TERRIBLE thing to do. SNEAKERS ARE FOR THE GYM!!!"
Many women take their cue from this woman (Oprah, not Gina, although they should probably listen more to Gina and less to Oprah, IMO) as to how to be culturally "hot" or at least "normal" in manner of dress, speech, etc. In fact, many women take their cue from fashion magazines, television shows, the women around them and basically the world.
Our guide should be the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and common sense when it comes to how to dress. We should ask ourselves if what we're wearing is God-honoring. If not, it's time for a change of clothing and heart attitude that led us to wear what we put on originally in the first place.
"...Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control..." 1 Timothy 2:9,10
Gina has some questions for us.
What am I allowing myself to be influenced by?
I love listening to strong men and women of God who help me stretch spiritually in ways I could not do on my own. God nudges my heart and gives me discernment here and there to know what I should be doing and not doing. His Holy Spirit tells me, "That shirt is a little more sheer than you thought, take it back!" I don't argue anymore. I just do it.
Who do I allow to dictate to me what I should be wearing?
I'm not a fashionista. If I like it, I buy it if I need it. I make sure it covers appropriate places and I don't really take my cue from magazines or those around me. I rarely see people dressed in the same clothes I am. My clothes are not weird, we just have different tastes. When I was a teen, I dressed like Seventeen Magazine said I ought to dress and I was definitely a child of the 80's. 80's hair, 80's clothes...oh, I loved the 80's.
How am I representing the God I claim to love and live for?
Oh, I hope I'm doing well in this area! I try to show His love to others and help them to grow spiritually. I try to live my life very transparently, as far as my love and devotion to Him, and make no secret about who He is and what He can do in the lives of those who will but ask Him.
Do I know the details of how God wants us to live as well as I know the details of what is in fashion?
Probably more so. Like I said, I'm no fashionista. I'm not one to follow the cultural trends of anything. I don't jump just because someone tells me to. I don't have to have the same thing everyone else does to be happy. In fact, you'd be surprised to know that I'm a simple kind of gal. I wear one pair of flats to work until they fall apart, then I go get another pair, as close to like them as possible. If I want to wear a dress when others around me are wearing only jeans, I'll do it. I'm not one to go so far out as to say, "I'm free to be me and I don't care what you think..." because I do, but I also know that my world doesn't center around what the world is concerned with. It centers around God and His love for me and trying to live out His will for my life.
Am I seeking to become conformed to the image of Christ...or the image that our ever changing society throws in front of our faces?

My heartfelt prayer is that I am conformed to Christ, not the world.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." ~ Romans 12:2 (NIV)

The Greek word for transform is metamorphoō. This verb means:
1) to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure
a) Christ appearance was changed and was resplendent with divine brightness on the mount of transfiguration
One of the root words, meta, means:
1) with, after, behind
Another root word is morphoō. It, too, is a verb that means:
1) to form
Our minds are transformed or renewed by Christ Jesus so that we can test what His will is for our lives.
The Greek word for will is transliterated thelēma. It means:
1) what one wishes or has determined shall be done
a) of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ
b) of what God wishes to be done by us
1) commands, precepts
2) will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure
God purposes to bless us through Christ and through His will for us. His will is good, pleasing and perfect, and we should seek to this will and live it out.
The Greek word for good is agathos, which means:
1) of good constitution or nature
2) useful, salutary
3) good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy
4) excellent, distinguished
5) upright, honourable
The Greek word for pleasing is euarestos, and means:
1) well pleasing, acceptable
And the Greek word for perfect is teleios. This is not as scary as one might think. In fact, it's quite attainable. It means:
1) brought to its end, finished
2) wanting nothing necessary to completeness
3) perfect
4) that which is perfect
a) consummate human integrity and virtue
b) of men
1) full grown, adult, of full age, mature
When God's will is complete in us, brought to its end here on earth, we will begin serving a far more perfect life than we could ever imagine for Him in Heaven.
Just because Jane Doe has to have Starbucks at 6:00 a.m. every morning, does that mean you will, too? What's your point in that? If it brings the two of you together for Bible study for good conversation or prayer, by all means, go for it. But if she lives halfway across the country and swears its the only thing that gets her going, and your routine is already working for you, why change?
Why not practice removing the distractions of this world today and living in God's good, pleasing and perfect will for you right now? Throw off the things that beckon for your attention and addiction and pray that God be your main influence in this life.
I have some work to do in this area. I'm running my race with my arms outstretched toward the the prize. Care to join me?
Visit At the Well for more posts on today's topic.