Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WFW - Psalm 27:14

While We Are Waiting

Who enjoys a good, long wait? Not me. I have places to go and people to see. Hah. Seriously, although I am patient to a degree, when I am going through a trial I want it to be over. I have been battling a trial of illness that hardly lets me even write since June. That's the whole summer, ya'll! One thing I have found is that there are things I can do while I am waiting.

The Hebrew word for wait is qavah. I looked it up on the handy-dandy and found this verb to mean:

1) to wait, look for, hope, expect
a) (Qal) waiting (participle)
b) (Piel)
1) to wait or look eagerly for
2) to lie in wait for
3) to wait for, linger for
2) to collect, bind together
a) (Niphal) to be collected

This speaks volumes to me. It makes me have no self-pity, just a need for practicing more patience. It encourages me to hope and expect that I will be healed or God will act in someway. I look eagerly for that. No matter what our trials are, we should wait and linger for God to intervene. And He will. God is like that. He loves us! He is not going to leave us where we are. I can feel myself improving, little milestones, but they're there, blessings given by God.

Don't Worry...Be Strong

All of us have gone or are going through our own personal trials. While we are waiting on the Lord, we are encouraged by the Psalmist to be strong.

The Hebrew word for the phrase be strong and take heart is chazaq. Implying action, this verb means:

1) to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, become strong, be courageous, be firm, grow firm, be resolute, be sore
a) (Qal)
1) to be strong, grow strong
a) to prevail, prevail upon
b) to be firm, be caught fast, be secure
c) to press, be urgent
d) to grow stout, grow rigid, grow hard (bad sense)
e) to be severe, be grievous
2) to strengthen
b) (Piel)
1) to make strong
2) to restore to strength, give strength
3) to strengthen, sustain, encourage
4) to make strong, make bold, encourage
5) to make firm
6) to make rigid, make hard
c) (Hiphil)
1) to make strong, strengthen
2) to make firm
3) to display strength
4) to make severe
5) to support
6) to repair
7) to prevail, prevail upon
8) to have or take or keep hold of, retain, hold up, sustain, support
9) to hold, contain
d) (Hithpael)
1) to strengthen oneself
2) to put forth strength, use one's strength
3) to withstand
4) to hold strongly with

I submit that if we truly make the effort to be strong, we will not remain in the pit long. I like each and every one of these definitions. They are the epitome of strength and what we can do to use to strengthen ourselves.

Where does your strength come from? Mine comes from the Word and from knowing that God will pick me up in His time.

Wrapping It Up

We all need encouragement during times of trials, so if you're going through one, rest assured I am praying for you, bloggy friend.

Questions for Reflection: Where does your strength come from? What are some ways you have been strong through trials?

Verse of the Day: "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." ~ Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

Prayer: Father, we all face trials of different magnitudes. These trials can rock our worlds and seem to last for seasons upon seasons. Others are shorter but just as tough to go through. Help us, Lord, as we wait and find our strength in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

S - Sing praise to God no matter how dark the night. "I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High." ~ Psalm 7:17 (NIV)

T - Trust God as your deliverer. "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." ~ Psalm 18:2 (NIV)

R - Remember Who your strength is. "The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him." ~ Exodus 15:2 (NIV)

O - Obey God's command to be strong as you wait. "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." ~ Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

N - Nourish yourself by reading your Bible. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." ~ Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

G - Go on with life at a pace you can deal with. God will sustain you. "Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me." ~ Psalm 54:4 (NIV)

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. Susan, at Forever His, 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.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WFW - Discretion

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 wisdodm, discretion and motive, perhaps because someone has asked us not to say anything or through wisdom we know that discretion dictates not telling everything we know just to be saying it, especially when the motive is just chatter.

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? This bear looks ashamed. So am I sometimes. But I'm striving toward victory!

Besides prayer, we need to check our self-control meter. We should 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, do they need to be shared at all

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

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. Christy, over at Critty Joy, 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, August 18, 2009

Serving God With a Whole Heart

One of the ways we can be obedient to God is to serve Him with our whole heart. I am thankful for the opportunity to put forth my best foot in trying to be obedient to Him this way.

Paul, in his desire to visit the Romans, penned these words…

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.”
~ Romans 1:8-10 (Emphasis, mine)

What does serving God with a whole heart, living our faith out loud, involve? To me, it involves dying to self daily, and making our faith walk and talk.

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” ~ Galatians 5:16

Living in the flesh, or sinful nature, is something I did for years before I began living life by the Spirit. My earthly/fleshly body is about 16 years older than the new creation I became when I became saved. Living in the flesh has far more experience on me than living in the Spirit does.

Life by the Spirit is something I am maturing into. It’s a growing process that I’m learning to live. A number of years after I came to a saving knowledge of Christ, I lived an on-again off-again relationship with Him. It is only in recent years that I have had the true desire, the true calling, to serve my Savior faithfully and wholeheartedly. I finally realized that I was called into this life of having my heart beat to serve my Savior daily.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” John 15:16

God chooses us and appoints us to live lives worthy of Him, and He calls us to bear fruit. He chooses people who have a will to serve Him, who have a vision to serve Him, and those who are filled with His Holy Spirit - those who will serve Him wholeheartedly.

When we serve Him wholeheartedly, we live the faith He desires us to live out loud in our daily lives.

So what about this business of serving Him wholeheartedly, of living our faith out loud? What does serving God with a whole heart involve? And how do I serve with my whole heart?

For me, it begins with a life of PRAYER.

P - Prayer - do I pray about what I am to do for Him, what He wants me to do rather than following my own will? “But I cry to you for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you.” - Psalm 88:13

R - Respect - do I have a proper respect for God, admitting His holiness and sovereignty in my life? “O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. - Isaiah 37:16

A - Able - do I believe that He is able to teach me and direct me in the way that I should go? “This is what the LORD says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17

Y - Yes - am I always willing to say, “Yes,” to God and “No,” to self? “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” - Luke 9:25

E - Equip - am I equipped to serve Him? Have I spent time in His Word, learning all I can about servitude? “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” - Psalm 119:105

R - Reliance - do I rely on Him or on others as I serve Him? “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” - Joshua 24:15

What other verses come to mind for you as you think of each of the truths for this acrostic?

Do you serve God wholeheartedly? Are you ready to make that commitment if you’re not?

It is my desire that I serve Him wholeheartedly, and that I begin to do it afresh today.

We can find a great example of obedience in Luke.

He had fished all night and didn't catch a thing. He was a fisherman by trade. He knew the water. But he also knew his Savior. "But because you say so..." Simon listened to the Savior and *together* they caught so many fish the nets began to break. Had to have help to haul them all in.

He was willing. Willing to have obedience, faith, honor and love. May I be as obedient, faithful, honoring and loving as Simon Peter was, and simply respond to Christ with, "But because you say so, I will do it."

One of the markers of obedience to God is serving Him wholeheartedly.

Simon didn't have to re-cast the net. He could have said, "Lord, what about just using a pole? I'm so tired after fishing all night and not getting so much as a nibble."

Because he respected Jesus and knew that there was a lesson to be learned, he moved in obedience to the command of the Lord. He had ever reason to pack up and call it a night, but he obeyed with his whole heart.

We have the opportunity to do that, friends. I am so thankful for the privilege to serve God in obedience, even when I've "fished all night and haven't caught a thing."

Are we willing to listen for His voice and do what He tells us?

I pray that we will all be thankful for the privilege to serve the God who saved us when we could not save ourselves.

This was a post that I originally did as a guest post for Laced With Grace and Thankful Thursday while back and another post I did on obedience last July. I apologize for the re-run (I did edit it to include some new thoughts).


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

WFW - Devotion and Honor

Do you find it easy to be devoted to everyone in your life? What about honoring one another above yourself?

In all honesty, it's a high calling, and something I have found hard to do in the past. Simply put, there are people I'd just soon not be around. I'm just keeping it real. But this is not the way that I should be. If I am going to truly extend Christ's love, I must be devoted to others and put them and their needs above my own.

Devotion to Others

The Greek word for devoted is philostorgos. It means:

1) the mutual love of parents and children and wives and husbands
2) loving affection, prone to love, loving tenderly
a) chiefly of the reciprocal tenderness of parents and children

This speaks to our families; however, let's take a look at the root word. Philos means:

1) friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well
a) a friend
b) an associate
c) he who associates familiarly with one, a companion
d) one of the bridegroom's friends who on his behalf asked the hand of the bride and rendered him various services in closing the marriage and celebrating the nuptials

Thus it extends outward to those who are in our lives. A little farther out than immediate family - friends and associates, etc.

It's a little easier to be devoted to them, isn't it? We are to be devoted to them in brotherly love.

The Greek word for in is eis. This preposition means:

1) into, unto, to, towards, for, among

It's not from a distance, my friend. It's unto, among....I'm getting a message here! (I love how I learn things when I write my posts!) Note: there are some people who will not let you love them up close. This is one of those things where we have to pray for them and love for them or perhaps towards them. God knows our heart, even if the other person doesn't. In my case, it's an older sister who has broken all ties with the family for no apparent reason. I still love her but obviously, since I'm not close to her, it as to be for her and not among or unto, so to speak. There is no way for me to express love to her except to pray for her.

The Greek word for brotherly love is philadelphia. It means:

1) love of brothers or sisters, brotherly love
2) in the NT the love which Christians cherish for each other as brethren

I have seen so much of this in the bloggy world. Everyone is so kind to express their sisterly love to others and it makes my heart sing to know that it's there. To truly love someone, you have to know them and like them and they grow in your heart to love. (I'm not saying there is no such thing as love at first sight, this is not about that.) The love expressed through kind comments and the words "I love you" matters to our Christian sisters. It matters to me.

The root word for brotherly love, or philadelphia, is philadelphos, which means:

1) loving brother or sister
2) in a broader sense, loving one like a brother, loving one's fellow countrymen
a) of an Israelite
b) of a Christian loving Christians

And the root word of that is adelphos, which means:

1) a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother
2) having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman
3) any fellow or man
4) a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection
5) an associate in employment or office
6) brethren in Christ
a) his brothers by blood
b) all men
c) apostles
d) Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place

Simply put, we have alot of people to love, and God has increased the capacity of our hearts to do that. I'm finding it less hard when I delve into these meanings and see what God is calling me to do. "Love them, Laurie Ann. Show them Me." He wants us to love them so we can turn them to Christ with our devotion and honor.

Honoring Others Above Ourselves

I just love the Greek word for honor. It's timē. This noun means:

1) a valuing by which the price is fixed
a) of the price itself
b) of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought or sold
2) honour which belongs or is shown to one
a) of the honour which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds
b) deference, reverence

When we defer to others (as long as it's just not unreasonable), we make strides in showing Christ's love. Although He did die for the unreasonable. It's basically honor. Honoring others above our own desires.

The Greek word for above is proēgeomai. This verb means:

1) to go before and show the way, to go before and lead, to go before as a leader

This is what we should be doing to those in our lives. We need to lead them to the Cross. Help them grow spiritually and mature in their faith. We need to take the time to mentor young women and be mentored by older women. And it's all about dying to ourselves and our desires. Truly, when the phone rings and it's your sister whom you know will talk an hour and you are about to walk out the door for a pedicure, how many of us roll our eyes and think, "Not now!" I learned something about my sister recently that made me realize I would cancel a pedicure in favor of lunch or talking for an hour on the phone, even if it was going to be another week before I could get to it. God is growing me in this area.

Wrapping it Up

My heart has been moving since I heard Brandon Heath's Give Me Your Eyes one day. I think the Holy Spirit has been moving me to see the needs that are out there and follow this verse's wisdom.

Questions for Reflection: Do you find it hard or easy to be devoted to others and to honor othem above yourself consistently? What can you do to increase your love for others? What do devotion and honor look like to an outsider looking in?

Verse of the Day: "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." ~ Romans 12:10 (NIV)

Prayer: Father, help us to be truly devoted to one another in love and to honor others above ourselves. Soften our hearts, Lord, and open our eyes to see even more of the need that we may already see. Help us get out among those who need to shown to them and help us reverence others above our own needs. In Jesus' Name I pray, amen.

D - Determine to show devotion and love to others, even those who are hard to love. - "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." ~ Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

E - Encourage others with your love and devotion. "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." ~ Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

V - Verify that your devotion and love are works of God and not just outward appearances. ~ "But the LORD said to Samuel,...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)

O - Obey the law of Christ in love and devotion. "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law." ~ Romans 13:8

T - Take time to do random acts of kindness to express devotion and love. "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." ~ Romans 12:10 (NIV)

E - Earnestly read God's Word to learn more about love and devotion. "Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other." ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:9 (NIV)

D - Devote time in prayer for those you are devoted to and love. "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." ~ Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the Word of God through photo's and Scripture. Lori, over at All You Have to Give, is our hostess today. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme. 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.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Life by Example

The Greek word for gentleness is another word for gentle, patient or moderate, epieikēs. A hard word to pronounce, but not one so hard to live out loud as Christians. It means:

1) seeming, suitable
2) equitable, fair, mild, gentle

As Christians one of the ways we are called to live is in the manner prescribed above. What are some ways we can be gentle?

We can live holy lives, lives set apart as fair, mild and gentle in nature, despite temptations to live in accordance with a self-serving attitude the world has.

The Greek word for evident is the verb ginōskō, which means:

1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feela) to become known
2) to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of
a) to understand
b) to know
3) Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman
4) to become acquainted with, to know

Have you ever been around someone whose bad attitude has rubbed off on you? Perhaps someone who is impatient, unfair, loud, angry, even foul-mouthed? If you've ever been affected by someone this way and seen yourself transform into someone you no longer recognize, how much more should we live a life that is suitable for Christ? Our attitude is bound to rub off on those we are closest to on a daily basis. We should be careful not to become desensitized by the world so much that we are unable to live in gentleness. In living lives that are suitable, fair, mild, and gentle we encourage others to embrace this lifestyle by imitating Christ, who is near.

The Greek word for near is eggys, which means:

1) near, of place and position
a) near
b) those who are near access to God
1) Jews, as opposed to those who are alien from God and his blessings
2) The Rabbis used the term "to make nigh" as equivalent to "to make a proselyte"
2) of time
a) of times imminent and soon to come pass

In what ways do you see the Lord near in your life? In my life I see Him daily, walking by my side, having access to Him in prayer and worship. I also see the signs of the end of the age being fulfilled. I believe we are living in the last days, my friend, and I believe that one of the ways we can be a good witness for Christ, drawing others close to Him, is by living a life of gentleness, as Paul asked the Philippians to do.

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." ~ James 3:17 (NIV)

"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)

Prayer: Father, may my actions be gentle and suitable for You, drawing others to You by my attitude of reflecting Your Son. May I live in a way that is seeming and mild-mannered and fair. Remove any harshness from the words that I speak and may unfairness and quick-temperance never be a part of my lifestyle. May it all be for Your glory and not my own.
Sources: -
Rerun from January 19, 2009


Monday, August 03, 2009

Showing Love to our Husbands
Ephesians 5 has some great guidance for loving our husbands. Before Paul starts his discussion on husbands and wives in verse 22, we are reminded in verse 1 to be imitators of God as Christ was. Our marriage mirrors (or should mirror) Christ and the Church.
I've written about submission in marriage before; it makes me feel very humbled and priveleged. Just to know that I am called by God to reflect His love to Steve feels like a huge mantle to bear. It's not hard to love my husband. He's a great husband, father, friend and lover. But to know that I am the primary instrument of reflecting the Father's love to my husband? Kind of brings to mind doing all the excercises in the Love Dare book that accompanied the recent movie Fireproof.

I want to honor my husband and submit to him in the best ways possible. We have great guidance in Christ's example of love of the purest form.

As Steve's wife, some of the best ways I can think of to reflect God's love for Steve are by loving him as God loves him, being quick to mercy and grace in our marriage and slow to anger, submitting to him in all things, speak highly of him to others and build him up rather than tear him down, setting the example for other women to love their husbands the same way, pray for him continually, honoring him and loving him in my actions, words and deeds.

Truly it is an honor to be called by God to be that primary instrument to reflect God's love to Steve. Very humbling and a true privelege. I praise God that He has given me an easy man to love. Steve is a great guy. I really mean that. He's so kind and loving toward me that it really makes it easy to love him. Do we have our rocky moments? Um, yes, but this is not about that. I have my own rocky moments with God and He loves me, so the least I can do is reflect that same love with Steve.
L - Loving our husbands is something we're called to do.
O - Obeying them as we obey the Lord is easy when we are truly committed to each other. It is a sign of respect.
V - Verifying through God's Word that the things we do, say and think in our marriage makes it easier to act out that love.
E - Example-setting for other women is something we're called to do in Titus 2:3-5 (NIV).

Marriage Monday is hosted by Chrysalis. Be sure to stop by and visit.