An incredible excerpt from the Bible,
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We know because he first loved us.”
– John 4:16-19
An incredible excerpt from the “He Is” reading plan in the “True Identity” Bible by Zondervan (italics are from the author of this blog):
He is love: “How appropriate that John, the disciple Jesus loved (see John 20:2), reveals the simple yet profound truth that God is love. God sent humanity the greatest love letter ever written, the Bible. He demonstrated his love by dying for those he loved. It is his very nature to love. Because God is love, we too are learning to love- not because it’s our nature, for human love is fickle and failing, but because he loved us first. Because God is love, he commands us to love our brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends, and even our enemies- those people we find hardest to love.”
May we go and spread the love Jesus designed for us to have. Let us first hold it in our hearts and then let it dwell in us as we lift our eyes in freedom to our God. Let the love we have from Jesus stir in us and spill over like a river.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
My church encourages its members to form smaller than small groups. We call them “2’s and 3’s groups”. The idea is for two or three (of the same-sex) people to gather together on a regular basis to be accountability partners, to read and discuss God’s word together, and share in life experiences with one another. It is good for women to meet with other women to discuss womanly things. Likewise, it’s good for men to be manly with other men! (Laughing) It is even better for them to get together to meditate about God.
Tonight my “two” and I (is she the two to my one, or am I the two to her one?) will get together for our first official meeting/gathering/drink coffee and choose a reading plan session. Not sure what to call it.
My two and I are newer friends, only introduced to each other a month or more ago at church. We both got Kindle Fires for Christmas (SCORE!) and both got new study bibles for Christmas. Totally meant to be! She’s also an incredible woman with strong faith, who is NOT afraid to pray. Awesome.
We will only be able to meet every other week for now, but we will pick a reading plan to do together. My theme for 2012 is “Daily” (you can read more here) so I will be dedicating to the Lord the time he has so graciously given to me.
The bible I got for Christmas (technically it was an anniversary gift, which makes it the best ever!) is an NIV version “True Identity” women’s study bible. It has 30 day plans where it walks you through Christ’s life in 30 days worth of scriptures. There’s a reading plan that covers the women of the Bible in-depth, there is a topical guide that is not so average with topics such as, “Parents, Failure, Expectations, Grief, Horoscopes” and more. (You can click here to read why I will never again read my horoscope.)
Below are some pictures of the best bible I’ve ever owned, and one I hold close to my heart: Maybe it will be perfect for you, too.
I truly look forward to the year 2012 and know that this is the year I will become closer to God than I thought possible. I’m sure that is welcoming trials, but with God for me, I say, “Bring it on”.
Some things come to us not of our own doing.
That is exactly how I came upon my theme for 2012. I had been trying to think of a new theme during November and December. If you are just tuning in, check out my other posts, in which I describe the idea of having one theme to focus on for the year. In 2011 my theme was “love”.
While contemplating my new theme, I kept thinking how I wanted the theme to reflect.God. The word “daily” came into my mind, meaning a daily study of God, his word, and his plan for me.
At first I was scared of the idea, thinking a daily committment of reading God’s word would be… very challenging. I was already reading at least one verse a day, usually more, but I didn’t dedicate my time to the Lord like I should have (and wanted to). I decided to table the idea for a while, but I kept hearing “daily,” “daily,” “daily”.
Once I prayed about the word “daily” it was revealed to me that 2012 is the year to dedicate my daily life to reading the word. I already channel my thoughts and prayers to my creator constantly, but it’s not the same as getting deep in his word daily.
May 2012 be a wonderfully themed year for you.
God’s blessings, CD
My value doesn’t come from the world. My value doesn’t come from “likes” and “friends,” “pokes,” picture tags, and stalking friends’ pictures (sorry!). My value doesn’t come from watering crops and posting funny bumper stickers to my Facebook page. My value comes from the one who created me.
My value lies in the Bible, my worth is great in the sight of God. The world cannot decide if I’m cool enough, this enough, that enough. God knows my heart, which is the only measurement that matters to me.
And so, the Facebook strike continues. I thought about sneaking on this afternoon to see what I had missed, until I realized that I probably wasn’t missed. In fact, there are so many “friends” on fb, that I probably wouldn’t notice if someone (not close to me) went on a fb hiatus. What does that say about us?
I would rather keep my friends close; close enough to see and interact with on a regular basis. Even if I’m not missed online, I still have the truest friend ever, my Savior. His book is the only book that matters.
I wonder how it is that women with babies manage to blog more than me. In my defense, I have been job searching like a maniac, and have extended every ounce of energy into getting some cash flow going into my account, because we all know how good I am with the cash flow going out.
The other day I had the fabulous opportunity to go to a Mary Kay party. I loved the party, the company, and the girl time. The host goes to my church here, and is absolutely on fire for God. She is the second woman I’ve ever met who has such the relationship with God that I’ve thought, “I want to be like that.”
As the party wound down, a woman got a phone call that brought her to tears. A loved one of hers was not being very kind to her, and the hostess with the mostess started speaking the word of God to this woman for encouragement.
“Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10
As she said this, she lowered her hands when she said “humble,” and raised them as she said “lift.” The image stuck with me. The verse stuck with me.
A few days later, as I prayed for direction with the job search, I grew frustrated that no one was returning calls or emails, no one was reviewing resumes until “later this week,” and no one was calling with a job offer. I was stuck on my worth, thinking that I deserve what’s great, what pays extremely high, yes, even in this economy.
James 4:10 came to mind, and I realized that I really needed to humble myself and take whatever job I could get. I wish I had this realization last week, when I turned down a job offer that paid too low, and was in the wrong location.
I know that the Lord will provide. I trust that I can completely fall into him and he will take care of me. He wants nothing but prosperity (and cash flow – spent wisely) for me.
If the perfect job is at a gas station, a grocery store, a waste plant, I will take it. The Lord provides. God is good.
“I will wait for you, oh Lord, you will answer.” Psalm 38:15.
The sound of clicking on the wood floors woke me up. The summer air was thick with leftover heat, and we had to sleep with the door open. My lazy, dead-to-the-world-when-she-sleeps dog had left our room in the middle of the night, for the first time ever.
I got out of bed to see if the dog was alright, and shooed her back to bed, but the suffocating heat refused to let me fall back to sleep. Instead of fretting and tossing and turning, I decided to start praying.
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God has always answered my prayers through words. For example, on Sunday morning, I was listening to a few different radio stations and kept hearing the word “new.” New car, new heart, new love, Bible verses with the word “new” in them. I was clued in, and realized that God was speaking to me.
One of my old pastors taught a sermon about hearing God’s voice. When I hear or recognize words from God (such as “new”) it’s usually in my own voice that I hear it, however, there is a confidence and an indescribable feeling that confirms that it is actually from God.
It’s not always easy to know if something like that little scene is coming from God, or is just coincidental. Based on my intimate relationship with God (that takes work and upkeep, just like any relationship) I knew and felt that it was him.
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I pray all the time. Out loud, in my mind, in the car, in the grocery store, and yesterday in a department store for a woman who I spoke with and told her I’d be praying for answers in her situation. Even though I pray all the time, I’m not always receptive to God’s answers because I move on to something else quickly. But that night I lay in bed praying for God to reveal himself to me, and then I decided to be quiet and wait.
An image came over my mind, and my body was filled with the sensation that I was swimming and flying at the same time, though I was firmly planted on my bed. I immediately knew that God was filling me with the sensation of his love. At that moment, I heard his voice saying “And everything was new.” This was not my voice. I was not dreaming. I was overcome by God. This was an answer to a very important subject I’d been contemplating on for a few months. My patience had paid off.
It is possible to feel and hear God in a tangible way, but it comes with faith and patience.
God will answer. Why don’t you try asking him to?
How does God speak to you? Maybe it’s through words, music, or through other people?Share your thoughts below.