Friday, April 30, 2010

The Benefits of Memorizing Scripture

Okay all, I have a BIG, HUGE, GIGANTICO (my silly made up word)confession~ my memory stinks. Just ask my hubby! He will spit out in the evening what he would like me to do for him the next day (bills, phone calls etc.) And do you think I can remember everything? NOPE, NADA, ZILCH! It is horrible because when he comes home, he asks did you yadda yadda and I say "Oh, I am so sorry, I FORGOT!" Let me tell you something, those words come out of my mouth so much. My girls even joke about me not remembering. Though I can remember every transgression against me~ another topic and another day.

It makes me think, do I prioritize my memory? Do I subconsciencly rate what I need to remember? How aweful of me to do so! The things my hubby asks of me are very important tasks that need to be handled, so why do I forget some of them? But when it comes to being hurt, spoken badly to or actions that hurt against me I keep score! How sinful of me, yuck.

Right now I am reading a 90 day guide to living the Proverbs 31 Life by Donna Partow titled "Becoming the Woman God wants me to be". Through the course of the weeks you are encourage to memorize Proverbs 31:10-30. WOW I said to myself, there is no way! My mind turned to mushy fear. I could go through the other exercises and just not do the memorizations, I thought. But why? I wouldn't get all that God has to offer me by not participating. Why proclaim my failure without even trying? So I managed to change my heart about the matter and I can successfully tell you I memorized the first two verses within the week given to do so. I found myself going over the verses in the car or during a quick quiet time. I am being transformed by not just reading his word every day, but also by memorizing scripture.

Psalm 119 spells out so perfectly what God's word does, how to use it and apply it and what it does for your life! I am so excited about this journey to learn the verses by heart in Proverbs 31. I know that I want to continue to memorize God's word. In every facet of your life, if you can fill your mind and heart with scripture, there dwells God!!! It is a great way to pray to the Lord also when words just don't come to mind what you want to say to him. Scripture is so helpful and powerful in times of needful prayer for oneself or others.

I encourage you, even if memory isn't your strong attribute, challenge yourself with a verse that is close to your heart and means so much to you. It can be your mission statement of your life or whatever you are going through at the time.

God has put it on my heart that I need to become more of a Proverbs 31 woman and by stamping it in my heart and mind it is going deaper than skin deap, it is going spiritually deap. Amen to that hubby says!

Dear God, I pray that I have hidden your word in my heart, that I may not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11) Praise be to you, Oh Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth (Psalm 119:13) I pray you continue to open and renew my mind for your words so that I can plant them there. I long to be blessed by your words and commands so that I can be made new after my sinful heart repents of things that are not of importance. Help me to let go of things that are of great weight on my heart that I cling to in my memory bank that are sinful and do not bring you glory. I pray that you continue to give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it will all my heart. (Psalm 119:34) In Jesus' name, Amen.

Blessings, Angie

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Putting God First and Last in your Day

Isaiah 44:6

This is what the Lord says-
Israel's King and Redeemer, the
Lord Almighty:
I am the FIRST and I am the LAST;
apart from me there is no God

What is so amazing is God is just that, AMAZING. Whenever I need guidance, the truth, and discipline he is there ready to give it.
As said here in Isaiah, God is first and last. Now this doesn't mean putting him last of course. Begin your day with the Lord. Fill your day with God in the morning even it is a few minutes. Your day is changed when you fill your cup with his words and wisdom and come to him in prayer. God can truly guide your day, change your attitude and help in times when you need him the most. Your life and circumstances, the family and friends, your work and encounters are nothing without putting God in all of it. So why not start of your day allowing him to enter in the beginning of your day and be sure before your fall asleep at night putting him in the Last part of your day to praise him and thank him for all he does, is and always will be ~ FIRST and LAST and constant!

Isaiah 2:3

...He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths."

John 4:13-14

"Whoever drinks the water I give him will never
thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in
him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Dear God, help me to remember to continue to start my day with you and end it with you in praises. You are the water that quenches the thirst I have for love, acceptance, forgiveness and strength. May I fill my cup everyday with your powerful words and let them be my guide every day. In precious Jesus name, I pray, AMEN.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Giving God the Glory

As I was praying the other night, I was reflecting on the reading I had done during the course of the day. If you know me, I like to have my nose in a book or my hands in something crafty. Anyway, the reading centered on giving God praise and glory in everything in your life.

This made me think of an anology of an artist/painter or writer. When Van Gough painted all his paintings, did his paints or brushes get the credit? Does your favorite writer get praise for his work or is it the pencil, pen or keyboard? These might be silly questions but when you think of yourself as the vessel for God to do good works, it is God who deserves praise and glory. The paint brush can't paint unless a hand holds it and moves it in sweeping motions with colors of the rainbow. The pencil cannot write by itself. I like to think of God using me (the paint brush) and being the creator of my life, he provides everything in the painting (my life)and he takes his time. So when the brush creates something beautiful in your life it isn't you who created it, it is God the Creator.

Colossians 1:16

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

Psalm 139:9

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

Psalm 139:13-14

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well.

Psalm 139:15-16

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

When I read these verses I truly know that not only did God create me, he holds me with his hand to guide me through the life he has already written out for me. So it is the Lord who deserves the credit for all that is in my life. He wrote every moment of my life, provides everything I need for those moments and we are to praise him for that because in good times and in bad HE IS THERE!

Thank you God for being the creator of my life, thank you for making me aware that my life is not my own. I am your creation for your purpose. Please remind me every day that I am your paintbrush, your pencil, your precious child that only wants you in control of the life you have written out for me for your Glory. I praise you for knowing what I need everyday and providing it with your mighty hand and love. Amen.

Have a blessed weekend everyone! ~Angie

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Filling in the Gaps

I have just discovered some things about myself lately. If I am doing something I often do many things at once. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing. It might be the women in me, for we like to multitask, don't we ladies? Lately my multitasking has been in the form of putting two earbuds in attached to an Ipod while I do things around the house. My husband just recently got me one because my MP3 decided its life of 5 years was enough.

Well, I discovered a new world (I know I need to catch up)! Podcasts are just so awesome! You know what ladies, they are free as well! I myself are drawn to the Christian ones and especially podcasts that are offered on CWI (Christian Womens Affiliate) . You can sign up to be a member or find them through itunes. I find alot of topics that can relate to my life and fill my day with encouraging words. There are even daily scripture readings on itunes.

So the next time you dread cleaning that room or even that closet in your Spring cleaning mode, reach for the ipod and keep Satan's two cents out of your head and listen to God's word and others who help you improve your life with God's word! So multitask today and see how great you feel after a great message through God's word. You just might get something done too!

Proverbs 19:20

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

I find that when I start the day with reading my Bible my day is different,how I act the rest of the day is different and how I respond is more of a reflection of Christ. Not all the time friends, we all fall short don't we, but it sure guides me and directs my heart daily. Be encouraged, inspired and uplifted in God's words wether through the Bible one moment and your radio or ipod the next! Fill in the gaps of your day with Him who provides exactly what you need for today!

Blessings, Angie

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Peace and Order

Today I wanted to work on one of my monthly goals for April. I am sure that Spring time is a common time to feel the need to Spring clean! Well my Spring cleaning involves my house yes indeed, but these are behind closed doors issues. Such as the cabinets under my island and counter tops in my kitchen. Walking in my kitchen you don't see or sense the disorder but if you open up a door oh my goodness what disorder!

My life, my spirit can look like these places indeed. So I was inspired to let God take care of the inside of my heart, spirit and life and prune away while I pruned what I have control over and that is my stuff in my house.

I just love my kitchen, it is so full of many cupboards and doors for storage! Yes I store other items besides kitchen gadgets in them. So does my Spirit have the same? Do I store or have things in my life that are useless and are collecting dust? Yes! Yes! And Yes! Amen to the fact that God is there to help and he is so happy to oblige. But friends you must ask! When you ask a revelation happens, you admit that #1 you need it, and #2 you give it to God who is the only one that can do it. Give God up in prayer a request and deny your ability to do it. Whew!

When I carried, ahem, 3 large garbage bags of stuff out of my kitchen by opening up 5 doors, what could God do with my life and spirit? I have yet to see because I am sure it is a lifelong journey! But I am so thankful of the weight that has lifted just with my cupboards. I know that my life needs order and that my house is part of that. I found a verse today that Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians when writing about Orderly Worship. And God's voice spoke to me clearly. How are we to worship God fully and with all that we are when we have stuff in our lives that keeps us from it?

1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

When I have order in my life, I have a sense of peace. No it doesn't happen everyday but when we seek God, we seek all he offers through his word. So peace can prevail when we turn to God to prune our lives, listen to HIS voice and allow HIS Holy Spirit to permeate through all we do even when we clean our kitchen cupboards!

Happy Spring Cleaning! ~ And Spiritual cleaning!

Blessings, Angie

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In times of conflict and struggle...

Proverbs 17:1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.

Proverbs 17:14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

I don't know how you all feel about raising preteen and teenage daughters. I for one feel so overwhelmed sometimes. My head hurts with wondering what the right voice of reason is when there is conflict with me directly or with each other. Especially since my girls feel the need to scream or yell when they feel unheard. Double ouch with my head!

You can hear me saying "Drop it" many times during the course of a day and asking "Will it matter 5 years from now?" I like to think I have these one liners that are as creative as theirs sometimes. You know that Mom in you that wants to feel you have scored that one point! I want so much to make my daughters think and ponder what my words mean.

Since reading the Bible on a daily basis, I have found some scripture that I find helpful and encouraging. We all need encouraging in every stage of parenthood and for me this stage is so much more challenging than potty training. Some days I felt so drained and I literally felt my body shut down, no thoughts because brain doesn't function when hurting, and my heart felt so hurt. My husband and I have really struggled through my oldest choices of lying, deceit, manipulation, hurtful words and actions, and how it affects the family. You could say it has felt as though my house was shaken like a Cracker Jack box.

I have felt so alone and have felt embarrassed by not having more of an influence on my daughter's decisions. Just last year after she completed her two year confirmation through church I thought God would have changed her heart. During this time until recently I have not put in as much of a relationship with my Father in Heaven as he desires of me. I have not prayed as I should have, not looked in HIS word for guidance, and have sacrificed an amazingly intimate relationship with God to feel LOST. I know, why you ask? Because like many, I thought I could handle it without prayer and guidance.

God has tapped me from behind on my shoulder, oops I shouldn't put Him there! I now decide today to put Him in front of me so I can see him, follow him and praise Him. I need to seek Him for advice, follow after His heart and praise Him even in these times. Gosh it is so hard to hand it all over, but it is so much harder to do it alone.

1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

There are so many promises that God just wants you to know, believe and put on your heart. Put on God's armor today (his word, his Holy Spirit) and you my friend can get through even the toughest of times. In time it will make you stronger and have more empathy for those who endure the same hardships.

My dear Father, God, I want to praise you for your steadfast love and strength and your sincere patience with me in my journey to become more dependant on you. Thank you so much for your arms I do feel around me in my times of need. I praise you for the blessings my life has and my family. May I be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12) Amen

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

I have had so much fun with reading the Bible, especially being a part of a blog bible study. One that I truly enjoy is Wendy Pope from the Proverbs 31 Ministries , she is hosting a vlog (video blog) through the One Year Chronological Bible, the daily postings of what to read you can find here . She has encouraged me to look up meanings of words to getting a deeper meaning of a verse and a clearer understanding. I just love looking up words! Now I am a dictionary junky!

Which brings me to Good Friday. Today my heart aches for the pain and forsaken feelings Jesus felt this day over 2,000 years ago. So when I hear "good" it is hard for me to feel good. But in the same breathe, what Jesus sacrificed and endured for us was for our good, our souls and for the relationship we have in him and our father God. So I had my self a field trip to my dictionary to look up the word good. Friends let me just tell you when I looked up good, it screamed Jesus! Let me share with you what I found per Websters New World Dictionary:

better, best
having the proper qualities
virtuous, devout, kind, dutiful
worth, benefit
able to endure (wow on this one)
able to pay or give (wow this one especially)
to repay or replace (OMG)
to fulfill
to succeed

Now, I don't know about you but I have a better appreciation for why and how today was named "Good Friday". I don't feel sadness I feel saved, loved and so precious in God's eyes. His son Jesus is all this! What he DID was Good, was for the Good of mankind, and how can I not deny good to be a part of how I feel about today.

Thank you God for your message today. I pray in your Holy Name that I remember these words that define good, have them on my heart and use them to better who I am and who I reflect as a child of God. Amen

Enjoy your Easter and the gift of everlasting life!
hugs, Angie

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools Day

This is Spring Break time and it makes me go back to my younger years. We never went to Florida, nor went on any kind of vacation growing up. I did however, love to stay at my grandparents house. It always seemed to fall around April 1st: April fools day. Waking up in my grandparents home, I knew my grampa would have something silly up his sleeve. He was such a loving and kind man who so loved to laugh. His laugh and smile linger in my mind today, oh how I miss him so.

It got me thinking...Fools day. I have been plunging into daily scripture readings, there are so many references to fools, foolishness, and fool in the Bible. God is not afraid to tell us what fools do, think or act like and how it impacts your life and HIM!

Proverbs 28:26
He who trust in himself is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

1 Corinthians 4:10
We are fools for Christ,
but you are so wise in Christ!

Proverbs 14:8
The wisdom of the prudent is to give
thought to their ways,
but the folly of fools is deception.

1 Corinthians 3:18-19
Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight.

This is just a few of the many scripture I have looked up from the reference in the back of my Bible. Notice that foolishness is lack of wisdom and the lack of wisdom is the lack of God in your life. Psalms and Proverbs is loaded to references to foolishness and wisdom. Now look at the benefits of wisdom!

Colossians 2:2-3
My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Psalm 111:10
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

I could give you so much more but I surely encourage you to look in your bible for the treasure hunt of God's wisdom.

May this day bring no folly or foolishness but celebration of the life you have in Christ through his wisdom~

blessings, Angie