Prayer and Trials–Quote from Octavius Winslow

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Psalm 130:1-2 (NLT) “From the depths of despair, O LordI call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.”

I read this quote on prayer during my quiet time this morning, and I wanted to share it with you. In her book, Passionate Prayer, Catherine Martin quotes Octavius Winslow … (Emphasis and formatting added)

Trial quickens us in prayer, and so effectually helps us heavenward. The life of God in the soul on earth is a life of communion of the soul with God in heaven. Prayer is nothing less than the divine nature in fellowship with the divine, the renewed creature in communion with God. And it would be as impossible for a regenerate soul to live without prayer, as for the natural life to exist without breathing. Oh, what a sacred and precious privilege is this! Is there none compared with it?

When we have closed the door–for we speak now of that most solemn and holy habit of prayer, private communion–and have shut out the world, and the creature, and even the saints, and are closeted in personal, solemn, and confiding audience with God, what words can portray the preciousness and solemnity of that hour!

Then is guilt confessed … and backslidings deplored … and care unburdened … and sorrow unveiled … and pardon sought … and grace implored … and blessings invoked.

There is no ladder … the rungs of which will bring you so near to God.
There are no wings, the plumage of which will carry you so close to heaven as prayer.

The moment you have unpinioned your soul for communion with God, let your pressure, your sorrow, your sin be what it may… that moment your heart has departed earth and is on its way heavenward.

You are soaring above the region of sorrow and battle and sin, and your spirit is expatiating beneath a purer, happier, sunnier sky. Oh the soothing, the strengthening, the uplifting found in prayer beneath the cross!

Thus trial helps us heavenward by quickening us to devotion, stirring us up to closeness of walk.

A Musical Monday–Sovereign Over Us

This weekend we heard a new song–well, new to us! Wanted to share it with you this morning. Be encouraged knowing that you are not alone. God is over all that concerns you.

His love for you is beyond measure.

Genesis 50:20 (NLT) “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

Jeremiah 29:11(NLT) “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Psalm 117 (NLT) “Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. For his unfailing love for us is powerful; thLord’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord!

1 John 4:18 (NLT) “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”

 

“Sovereign Over Us” — by Michael W. Smith

There is strength within the sorrow
There is beauty in our tears
And You meet us in our mourning
With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting
You’re sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding
You’re teaching us to trust

Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

You are wisdom unimagined
Who could understand Your ways
Reigning high above the Heavens
Reaching down in endless grace
You’re the lifter of the lowly
Compassionate and kind
You surround and You uphold me
And Your promises are my delight

Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us
[x2]

Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good
You turn it for our good and for Your glory
Even in the valley, You are faithful
You’re working for our good
You’re working for our good and for Your glory
[x2]

Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us
[x2]

You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

 

Something New

Flower Abstract BackgroundThis week I pulled out my Experiencing God workbook. As I read through it, I remembered how much I loved that study and how significantly God used it in my life. Some studies are like that. They are game changers. I thought to myself, I need to so this one again! I need God to do stuff again! So I started looking around to see of there was an updated version. Not.

Then, on the way to Bible study yesterday morning (we are studying The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7), God spoke to my heart, you are studying one of the most convicting passages of ScriptureIf you let Me, I will use it to accomplish my work in your heart and life; it can be a game changer!

It’s not a particular Bible study that I am in, although I believe He directs me to the one He wants me to study.  It’s my pliability in the Master’s hands.

 

My heart should be humble before Him.

My will should be yielded to His.

 

I realized that I was looking to recapture a moment in time.  But that’s not the way God works.

 

He doesn’t repeat the past. He creates newness!

 

Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

Psalm 51:10 (NLT)Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”

Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT) “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” 

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

The attitude of my heart and my will in response to the Holy Spirit’s conviction determines how effective a Bible study is in my life. When I am pliable in the Lord’s hands, He speaks truth to my heart through His Word. I will hear it and respond in obedience.  You know what, that is a game changer!

 


Today I’m linking up with Holley Gerth and Coffee for Your Heart! Want more encouragement? Check out other bloggers who are participating, too!

Celebrating 50! (Part 2)

50Today is my 50th birthday. We celebrated at 6:00 this morning! In our busy household, everyone is going in different directions today, starting at 6:30, so this is the time that everyone could be together. Now–everyone has gone on their way, and I feel like my heart has left with them! I love my family. <3

Psalm 100:5 (NLT) For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” 

Psalm 136:1 (NLT)Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.”

The celebration continues as I remember God’s work in my life. I began yesterday and have anticipated writing the rest of the list!

  1. I love God’s Word. Truly, its taste is sweet to my soul. Matthew 4:4 (NIV) “… Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
  2. My mom and my dad. Both of my parents love the Lord. They made sure our family had every opportunity to be in church to learn about the Lord and to be around people who loved Him. They provided the foundation for my spiritual life (Matthew 7:24-27).
    • My mother taught me the importance–even more so, the JOYof a personal quiet time with the Lord. See A Legacy: The Chair & The Basket. 
    • My dad taught me the importance of Scripture memory. A white board was perpetually propped up next to the dinner table so we could review regularly. He also lead our family in devotions on a regular basis. He was an eagle scout, so he instilled those pillar qualities in his children: integrity, commitment, determination, and following through with a task.
  3. My sisters and my brother. Like most siblings, we didn’t start out as best of friends. But time and trial have proven otherwise. My sisters are my best friends. We speak truth to one another–albeit sometimes on delicate ground. Our love for each other is strong. My brother is the epitome of faithful love. <3
    • Suzanna is a strong woman. She is one of my biggest writing fans–always ready with encouragement and an editorial eye when needed.
    • Claudia is also incredibly strong. She is perceptive and discerning–seeing  truth that is often hidden.
    • James. My brother is an incredibly tender man–with a fierce love for his family. He treats his nieces and nephews like they are his own. He is definitely the very cool uncle.
  4. My grandparents. Treasures! Treasures in heaven. Nothing was special as spending the night with them. They are the reason Daddy moved us from Arizona back to Texas.
    • Mimi and Papa. Peanut brittle, fried shrimp, and kumquats; the front porch and marble-topped furniture; “Snigglefritz” to Papa; Mimi’s pointy-rimmed glasses.
    • MammaGanny and GrandDaddy. Hotcakes on Saturday morning and General Foods Suisse Mocha coffee; swinging on the front porch, watching the neighbors go by; the candy drawer behind the kitchen table (!!); MammaGanny’s flourish-filled handwriting.
  5. Baptism celebrations! We had one in church on Sunday, and I don’t think I’ve seen one with as much joy before! In HIM is LIFE! That’s a lot to be excited about! The baptism of my own children in June of 2009 was a precious time. Each of them gave their hearts to Christ when they were quite young. When they matured more in their faith, they made their public commitment to the Lord through baptism.
  6. Ministry leaders who have poured their lives into my children. So many in AWANA and our youth ministry. My kids love each one of you and I thank God that you are there. Your place in their lives is another treasure to me. Caleb, Jonathan, Mike, Christy, and Nolin.
  7. Tammy. She has come in and out of my life through different seasons. Early on, I saw bracelet on her wrist–the kind I had wanted for a long time.  It was a “mommy bracelet.” After looking at hers, I knew I could make my own! Thus began a brief stint in the jewelry making business. She also introduced me to Weight Watchers, which made a huge impact in my eating. There I learned tools for managing portions sizes and the balance of eating fun foods and exercise. She was an encourager for me to run the Houston Marathon (see #37). Now our girls are in high-school activities together. We have similar ministry passions, so we encourage one another along this path. You may want to check out her blog, at Shifted Vision.
  8. Traditions. They are the glue that holds a family together. I enjoyed many traditions growing up. Tim and I carried that forward—adding our own to create the uniqueness of our family. My favorite tradition is decorating for Christmas the Friday after Thanksgiving.
  9. IMG_2460CampoutCamping. I grew up camping and was just fine not camping anymore as an adult. Until my husband wanted to camp with our kids. When he first brought it up, our youngest was potty training. The idea of dealing with that at a campsite was almost more than I could handle. But my mother wisely pointed out that camping is good for kids. It teaches them that life is “sticky”  and filled with challenges. Yet you can still find joy in the middle of all that. And we have! Some of our best memories are from camping. Waiting out a downpour, having to pack up quickly in the middle of a surprise snow storm (yes, even in Texas!), the weird bugs we found at each place, the Texas State Railroad, the best family discussions around the campfire.
  10. The gal on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ at the University of Minnesota who helped me write out my testimony. I attended a Bible college in Minnesota for a year and the Crusade group at the U of M sent staffers to my college.
  11. Peggi–my mentor and friend. She is truly a “soul sister.” Our ministry passions are similar and she helps me see things outside of my emotions. She is always ready and willing to help me in whatever ministry conundrum I find myself in, and to point me in the right direction with my writing. She challenges me to take things a step further, which is sometimes frustrating. I remember working very hard to get something right. It was fine, even good. But she knew that if I dove a little deeper, tried a new technique (making a chart!), that new truth would emerge and bring clarity to my thought process. That resulted in better material that God could use.  (I love you!!)
  12. Pearland Fit–they trained me for my 2003 marathon! I was studying Experiencing God at the time. One key truth I learned was that God wants to do in you something that the watching world would see and say, “Only God could have done that.” At that time in my life, I desperately needed to lose weight. I was not honoring God with my body. Two friends (Tammy and Kirsten), within two days, encouraged me to train for and run the Houston Marathon. The Lord was already convicting me about this, so I knew this was God’s leading. He provided a wonderful support system for me. Before this, I hated exercise of all kinds. But I fell in love with running. My coaches: Paulette, Alexis, and Laura. Friends I trained with: Tyra and Rosa. Friends who ran along side me during the race: Darlene and Kristen.
  13. This remains a challenge for me. I went through a period of injury and self-absorption, and I got my focus off of fitness. I still struggle. I want to run again, but my knees are not in the shape for it. So I am frustrated. It’s a struggle I’m thankful for. God shows me His love for me as He continues to convict and show me my need. He’s a great parent!
  14. The day I realized that God did not make one and only one bff for me. It was a painful day, but a freeing one.
  15. A heart that hurts easily. When I love, I love with my whole heart, but life changes us. Sometimes friends follow us through changes; sometimes we leave friends behind; sometimes we are left behind in the wake of their change. And it’s OK. Through those times, I lean hard on the Lord, and am thankful for His sustaining presence in my life. “Friends with skin on” are a blessing, but God is the most faithful of all. Sometimes we don’t learn that until we have to.
  16. Being alone. Yes, sometimes being alone is painful. But solitude has taught me much about who I am and whose I am.
  17. But I have friends–many friends! The Lord has blessed each phase of my life with dear friends to love and dear friends who love me and challenge me. Friends I grew up with remain dearly loved treasures–Karen, Dee, and Belinda. College roommates who walked with me through some faith-proving times–Becky, Toni, and Lavonne; Missy, Toni, Becky, Angela, Linda, Diane, and Gwen. I am especially blessed by my Heart to Heart ladies who love to study God’s Word together.
  18. Susie–my sweet neighbor.  She is a blessing in my life. We walk together and talk together–working out the nitty-gritty of raising our kids. <3 She also challenges me in my writing. She has owned/published three local magazines and encouraged me to write for her–not just faith-based articles, but business highlights and even a feature. I was scared of all of it, but she walked me through every step of the way. I appreciate her so much.  (Love you!!)
  19. Our time in Amway. Yes, we are “some of those” who “did that.” ;) We built an Amway business for ten years. During that time we grew in many ways–some very painful.
  20. Gardening. This is one more thing that I despised growing up, but that I now love. When it’s not 90+ degrees and 80+% humidity, I even enjoy pulling weeds. I find that when I am focused on cleaning out my flower beds, the Lord uses that time to “clean out the weeds” in my own life.
  21. In the kitchen with Tim. He loves to cook! Some of our best times are fixing a Saturday night meal together.
  22. My “family-in-love.” Tim’s parents and sisters. Forrest & Gerry, Diane, Lois, and Marilyn. From the time Tim and I were engaged, they loved me like I was their own daughter or sister. I’m blessed that they, too, love the Lord and have served Him for many years.
  23. Kisha. Although I have a strong sanguine personality, I tend to choose alone time over social time–much of it writing. But Kisha does her best to get me out of my cave. She takes me to Bunco, Book club, and even Scrapbook retreats–although sometimes she is dragging me kicking and screaming. (I probably need some more dragging. I’ve been in my cave a little too long!) Other than my family, Kisha has known me and been a part of my day-to-day life longer than anyone else. She is loyal and always there.  (I love you!!)
  24. Kelly. She invited me to teach a MotherWise Bible study with her. I had led many Bible studies prior to that, but had never taught. During those years, I fell in love with watching women fall in love with Jesus. That love continues to grow.
  25. Precepts Bible Study. I learned to study the Bible for myself while learning to lead Precept Upon Precept courses. My life changed as a result of my training with them. In fact, it is the springboard for the Bible studies I have written. I teach (and re-teach) these study skills at every opportunity.
  26. New Hope Church. They provided this excellent training for me and the opportunity to use it. I am very grateful for this.
  27. Fellowship Bible Church–my current church home. The pastoral staff loves and honors the Lord, and I appreciate their leadership. Every teacher and leader who impacts my kids. I am honored that FBC trusts me with the women of our church and allows me to teach material I have written. It is a privilege to serve with them.
  28. Writing! This is the serendipity of my life. I never expected it, but it has brought me much joy and fulfillment.

While I was writing these two posts, memories filled my heart and my mind. I noted some significant “places” and “things.” But the majority of those that impacted my life are “people.” I am a woman who loves and thrives in healthy relationships. Honestly, I think we all do. God made us that way.

Proverbs 17:17 (NLT) A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

John 15:15 (NLT) I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”

Thank you for joining me on my journey of recalling God’s goodness!  :)

 

Celebrating 50! (Part 1)

50

Psalm 63:1-5 (NLT)O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.”

Tomorrow I celebrate my 50th birthday. The celebration began over the weekend with extended family. When I told my 92-year-old mother-in-law (who suffers from dementia) that it was my 50th birthday, she said with a gleam in her eye, “Wait until you turn 90!”

Thankfulness / Gratefulness / Happiness challenges are making their way across Facebook Newsfeeds. I am embracing the Nifty Fifty by celebrating 50 years of God’s blessing in my life. Twenty-five today; twenty-five tomorrow. Other than the first few, these are not listed in any particular order. They span a significant time period, but are not chronological nor prioritized. (26-50)

  1. Without question, the Lord is the most significant part of my life. Without Him, I am nothing. Without His saving grace, there is no telling where I would be today. Although I have been unfaithful far too often, He is always faithful and forgiving. I am a work-in-progress, and I am grateful for His loving patience with me. (Philippians 1:6)
  2. My husband, Tim. We’ve been married almost 24 years. He is good, kind, forgiving, and so many other wonderful things. He shows me the heart of Jesus every day. And … he is incredibly handsome. (!!)
  3. I’m blessed that Tim is a handyman. He repairs everything in our home. My last car lasted waaay longer than I wanted it to. ;) But that is a good thing.
  4. Tim is also a craftsman, and has filled our home with many lovely pieces of furniture. My favorite is an end table that he made specifically to hold all of my quiet time materials.
  5. My son Max—my firstborn. Max is a guy who is purposed in everything he does. He is a lot like his dad in many ways—especially his engineering mind. Max plays the guitar and occasionally likes to surprise me by learning one of the songs that I like—especially 80s music. :)
  6. My daughter Rachel—firstborn daughter and twin to Max. Rachel is a typical teenage girl—loves to be with her friends and giggles a lot! Loudly! My favorite pictures of her are when she is rolling on the floor in laughter. Total abandon on her face. She is a color guard gal and spins beautifully.
  7. My daughter Abby—baby of the family—and she knows it! She is determined. She accomplishes just about everything she puts her mind to—even if accompanied by a fair amount of tears.
  8. The dates my children gave their hearts to Christ. Tim and I rejoice that each of our kids knows and loves the Lord. Our prayer is that they continue to love Him and follow Him all the days of their lives.
  9. Music—all kinds of music! Music that picks me up when I’m feeling down; music that sends my spirit soaring with praise for my God, the Creator of the Universe; music that allows me to calm down and relax. I love all of it!
  10. Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing—my daughter Abigail made these this weekend. They were perfect! Moist and perfectly sweet and tangy.
  11. Italian Cream Cake—this is my mother’s favorite cake, and I dearly love it as well. Last year, Rachel made this for my birthday. It, too, was rich and moist.
  12. Coffee! Wonderful, rich coffee. I love its warmth, its smell, and its taste. A day with coffee is always a better day than without it. :)
  13. Technology. It makes my life better, richer. It keeps me where I need to be, when I need to be there. It allows me to connect with people I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Yes—it is also a monster. But it’s a monster I like.
  14. Water. Streams, rivers, lakes, oceans. I love them all.
  15. And I love to swim. My parents taught me to swim when I was very young. In turn, I made sure my kids were strong swimmers. When I was about seven, I saw a baby drown. It changed me forever. Although still innocent and naïve, I learned early that everything can change in an instant. I dearly love water—but I respect its power. I made sure my kids knew that, too.
  16. I am deeply grateful to the Lord for bringing my daddy safely home from Viet Nam. I was young when he was gone, but not so young that I don’t remember what it was like without him. Meeting him at the airport, the drive home—being together again—are things I will always remember.
  17. The precious families in Glendale, AZ, (the Stewarts especially) who looked after us while Daddy was gone.
  18. My “first real job” at Gulf States Toyota. I grew up in a conservative, Christian home. Entering the workplace as  young, naïve girl was an eye-opening experience. I had to grow up fast. I didn’t do it all right. But I’m thankful for each boss and every co-worker, especially Karol. She was not only my boss for a short time, but she helped me mature professionally and became one of my most treasured friends. The work was hard, but rewarding. Even the occasional drive in to work in the middle of the night had its charm.
  19. PatioMy front porch, my pergola, and all my plants. Whether alone or with someone else, these are places that I run to for rest—especially when the weather is good. Quiet times are especially nice there.
  20. Pinecrest Bible Camp in Arizona. I attended this camp in the summer of 1974.  At the end of the week, I gave my heart to Jesus. I was there by myself. No friends came with me. Although I met a few people, I was relatively alone. That is when Jesus became my best friend. <3
  21. Bobbie Taylor—my fifth grade Sunday School teacher in Mesa, AZ. She is the first person who taught me to share my faith with a stranger!
  22. The women of Alliance Bible Church in Baytown, TX—who poured into my life when I was a teenager. They taught me, they prayed for me, they loved me. Not only were they mentors, they were (and remain) friends. Gay Brock, Lois Foard, Barbara Gibson, Frances Erwin, Joyce Pace, Teresa Bill, Phyllis Kester, Billie Pettis … and many others. I will always treasure the years Barbara hosted a high-school girls Bible study in her home–at 5:30 in the morning! She welcomed each of us girls into her home and loved us like her own. Her breakfasts were stellar!  Especially her French toast!
  23. Jennifer Bishop—who taught me how to receive a compliment graciously. I use her example of “crumbled chocolate cake” to teach the same lesson all the time.
  24. Carol Terry and Mark and Margaret Minchew. Carol was the role model I looked up to when I was a teenager. She helped me choose a field of study that was a good fit for my mind and interests. The Minchews took me to Baylor Homecoming. I fell in love with the campus and eventually graduated from college there.
  25.  I love hospitals. My mother is a retired RN, and my dad is a retired surgeon. Often, he took me to make rounds with him. Today, even when friends or family are in crisis, I enjoy being at the hospital with them. It’s another place I call home.

Lamentations 3:22-24 (NLT) “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

 

 

A Heart Fit for Christ

King David had a heart for the Lord. It is evidenced in the many Psalms he wrote.  In fact, God referred to him as a man after his own heart, (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).  Here are a few of some of His love letters to God.  Click on the reference to read the entire Psalm.

Psalm 18:1-2 (NLT) I love you, Lordyou are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”

Psalm 103:1-2 (CEV) “With all my heart I praise the Lord, and with all that I am I praise his holy name! With all my heart I praise the Lord! I will never forget how kind he has been.”

Psalm 116:1-2 (NLT)I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”

From the time the Israelites left Egypt, they worshiped God in a mobile Tabernacle, basically a tent that they carried with them from place to place. The Lord led them through the wilderness in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  When they built the Tabernacle, God’s presence filled the Tabernacle.

Exodus 40:34-38 (NLT)Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of theLord filled the Tabernacle. Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.”

Because of his love for the Lord, David’s great desire was to build a permanent Temple for Him. But God wanted a man of peace to build it; David was a man of war. 1 Chronicles 17, 18, and 22 tell how David spent the last years of his life gathering supplies and money in the treasury for this task. At the end of his life, David challenged Solomon to devote his life to building God’s temple.

1 Chronicles 22:19 “Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD.”

Now, our bodies are God’s temple. Jesus dwells in our hearts.

John 14:20 (NLT)When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

Ephesians 3:16-17 (NLT)  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

2 Corinthians 6:16 (NLT) “And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: ‘I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

The Church as a whole is being built into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT)Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?”

Ephesians 2:19-22 (NLT) “So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.”

School is in full swing. Many people are also beginning a new season of Bible study. This is a good time to devote ourselves to God and the study of His Word. As we do that, we “build our hearts” as a “fit” place for God to dwell.

The quality of a building is determined by the quality of the materials used to build it. Our bodies, our hearts–our very lives—are where God lives. David and Solomon spared no expense in building the temple.

Let’s not spare anything either.

What are your plans for studying God’s Word this year?

 

 

 

Linking up with Holley Gerth today.

 

 

 

 

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Heart image used by permission from  https://theheartartist.wordpress.com/category/about-art/.

 

Mid-Life Tanka

I haven’t done a poetry challenge in a while.  The Daily Post has a new take on Haiku–Tanka!  

“Traditional tanka contain five lines instead of haiku’s three, and 31 syllables instead of 17. The structure is that of a haiku followed by two additional lines of seven syllables each:  5-7-5-7-7.”

I decided to give it a try. These days, this is the main thing on my mind …

Hot SmileyLaughter, tears, coffee
Stress, hot sauce, sun–all triggers
The slow burn begins
Moisture beading–where’s my fan???
I’ll be fifty in a week.

 

 

 

 

 

Image from www.clipartbest.com