Monthly Archives: February 2007

Book Review Friday: Psalm 119

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First things first. Our book to read each day the entire week and end up right back here next Friday is…. da da da da….Mark 1-4. We can tackle a longer book in 4 stages. By reading 4 chapters each day for a month we can read the entire book 7 times. :) So chapters 1 through 4 is on for this week, K?!

Now for all those who have been right in there since the very beginning here’s a list of all the books that have been read so far in our Book Review Friday’s. I know we all haven’t been completely faithful each and every week, but as you go through the list every single one of us can be VERY encouraged as we check off each book we did read. I know that most of the ladies couldn’t say that they picked up their Bibles very often before this whole thing started and here we are today with this list!! Love it! Here they are:

  • Psalm 119
  • Ephesians
  • Haggai
  • 1 & 2 Timothy
  • Ruth
  • 1& 2 Thessalonians
  • Daniel
  • Philippians
  • Habakkuk
  • James ( for 4 weeks!)
  • 1,2, &3 John
  • Galatians

I mean no disrespect to any Christian colleges or universities out there, but there is a whole lot more being learned by this gal through simple repetitive reading and applying it to daily life than any course I could take anywhere else. It’s true.

Now onto Psalm 119. There really wasn’t anything earth shattering as I read through this, it was just a simple blessing. It’s encouraging. I could very much relate to the writer of the whole Psalm. I’m becoming more and more each day, that person who thrives on God’s Word. It’s becoming almost all consuming. Everything I read and discover just leaves me thirsty for more. But at the same time I’m learning so much, I’m making even more mistakes it would seem. The writer speaks of good times and bad times. Times when he’s close to the Lord and times when from his own sin he is distanced from God and begging to get close again. There are times when he is having a hard time staying focused on the Lord because of outside pressure and affliction. Worldly things sometimes invade and make it hard to stay focused. But time and time again he brings himself back to what counts. He understands where his life is really found, "Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life." (vs.92,93)

I was constantly reminded of my complete and utter dependence on God to live the kind of life I want to live. Most of my days I can get depressed thinking of what a lost cause I am. After all, I know what I’m really like! But then I read vs.9 "how can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word." Oh that sounds so simple. I just need to do what the Bible says. Easy sneezy, NOT! So you start thinking about being a hopeless cause again and start getting depressed… and then vs. 32 comes up, "I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart." So there really is hope. I have the desire, I’m just not able to follow through on it. God gives the ability to live out what He writes about.

The greatest lesson in my life these days is simply stated in vs.57. Learning to say, "You are my portion, O Lord.." is so hard. I get busy and then start getting stressed, which means I’m getting sidetracked. I loved the verses talking about turning my feet to God’s testimonies and I hurried to do it. Realizing that you are headed down the wrong path is sometimes easy to recognize but getting up and turning around can often seem just too hard to handle and we continue on our way forgetting the urgency and importance in the whole issue. But the more I read the easier turning around is. It’s true that the more I read the more sin in my life I see that needs to be purged, but I also have more strength to overcome it because of all I have learned.

There truly is life in the Scriptures. The writer of Psalm 119 knew it and I’m well on my way to learning it too. :)

Please forgive any confusing statements and spelling errors as usual. It’s been a very busy week and it’s looking like Friday is going to be crazy as well and I’m tired. When I’m tired my spelling gets worse, if that’s possible. :)

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Book Review Friday: Ephesians

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(First of all, The next BRF will be Psalm 119. Yes, just one chapter. But it’s almost as long as Ephesians. I’ve never read it before except for a verse or two here and there.)

Man oh man, I think this was my hardest one yet! I missed reading it one day but I think I really needed an extra week on this one. But I will attempt to convey the little eensy weensy tiny bit that I believe I grasped, somewhat…

God has a plan, and I’m part of it. Sounds simple but there’s so much more to it. I have been saved by the awesome grace of God from a life & eternity without Christ. I have been adopted as God’s child and have been blessed with every spiritual blessing needed to live the life he wants me to live. But I feel like the Ephesians that Paul was writing to. Obviously he knew that they were missing out on something. He knew it was possible to be part of God’s saved-by-grace family and not be aware that there is a higher plain to reach for.

In chapter one Paul starts telling the people that he prays for them.  Verse 17 says that he prays that God will give them revelation in the knowledge of Him and that the eyes of their understanding would be opened. They were believers already, they didn’t need salvation, but they weren’t experiencing the tremendous power that was at their fingertips on a daily basis. They didn’t really know God, they weren’t really living for Him. There’s so much more for me to know and experience. I want that same power Paul is talking about to be worked in me. "that you may know…what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised him from the dead…" (1:19-20) Power that cancels death. Pretty cool.

The mystery of Christ can be made known right here in my little life if I’m willing to allow the Holy Spirit to do it’s work. The Holy Spirit that was given to me as a guarantee of all that Christ has given me, saved me from, and my future hope.  I was chosen before the foundation of the world to be one of God’s children, for that I am very thankful. I always forget the fact that it doesn’t stop there though. He also predestined me to do my part in bringing about His will while I’m here on earth. He has work for me to do. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (2:10)  It’s not going to be easy work either.

What God asks me to do or endure for Him makes me nervous as I have said before. But reading Ephesians builds my confidence in meeting any circumstance head on. No matter what happens God is still God. He is working out his plan, "For He Himself is our peace," (love that line) and He has offered all of His power to us if we will ask for it to get the job done. Not only is all that power at our disposal but also the armor of God to protect us and guide us through each and every battle we face.

As I read those verses about the armor of God in chapter 6 I realized for the first time (all over again) that when problems arise in my life whether physical, relational, emotional or whatever, that the problem is really spiritual. How I handle each battle in my day, whether big or small, can either be to the praise of His glory or living for the flesh and giving in to the wiles of the devil. Depending on where I am at spiritually at the time will affect how I maneuver around those fiery darts and if they will be quenched or not.

It all comes down to relationships. Am I close to my Saviour. Am I living off of His power day in day out. When I am doing that then I can walk in truth, love, wisdom, finding out what is acceptable to the Lord in each relationship He allows to come my way.

Of course, there was so much more to this book but that’s all I can do this time round. I can’t wait to see some other reviews and maybe it will help me in my attempts to grasp some stuff from this round of BRF. :)

Now it’s your turn. Just add a link to your BRF post, we’re all excited to see everyone else’s reviews show up throughout the day. :)

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Book Review Friday: Haggai

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First things first. The book for next Friday will be Ephesians. You can do it! Now, onto Haggai…

Is it just me or does every book we’ve been doing seem to boil down to the same thing? It’s time to focus! It’s all about focus. What am I focusing on each and every moment of every day? I am learning, very slowly, to be surrendered to Christ but have such a long way to go.

Just reading about the lesson the Israelites learned in this book is the easy part. They were more interested in themselves than in God and I sit back and think, "Why couldn’t they see the problem? I can’t believe they actually had to have someone spell it out for them!?" But I have my own ‘paneled house’ to run to.( Actually, I’m not a big fan of paneling but understand what Haggai is getting at:)

Putting first things first is a daily struggle. I don’t have to go to the mountains to find lumber to build a temple for the Lord. I am the temple and I neglect it far too much. I’m jealous of the Israelites though, because they finished work on their temple in a matter of months and mine won’t be completed until I’m dead, or the Lord comes back.

Conviction to put God first has been in every book we’ve read and it would seem that more challenges get thrown in there to make the journey to repentance ever harder on the issue the more I’m convicted. "My house is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house."(1:9) That is a haunting piece of scripture.

So, where to start? I’ve been convicted repeatedly and it’s time for more action. 1:12 says "the people feared the presence of the Lord." That’s where it starts. If I really do fear the Lord I’m going to be walking in obedience. It’s when I’m not in scripture that I lose that fear and become complacent just as the Jews in this book were. They built up the temple of the Lord and it would serve as a reminder that God was with them, and also help to keep them on their toes in obedience and hold Him 1st in their daily lives.

1:6 speaks of earthly treasure they sought for themselves. When reading about the people saying it wasn’t time to worry about building God’s house yet, I think they were a lot like us. They were just trying to do the best they could everyday. Making meals, saying hello to the people next door, making enough money to pay the rent. It’s just that God knew they were self absorbed. They worked hard for themselves and the Lord blew all the blessing away from them because He wasn’t in it."And he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes." But when they all obeyed and feared God, He poured out His blessing on the people. "But from this day I will bless you."(2:19)  So, what am I missing out on by not acknowledging Him in all my paths? What would He do? Where would He take me? What would He show me and my family if I feared Him so much I let Him create a beautiful temple for Him to dwell in right here, inside me?

Yes, Haggai was a surprisingly good book for me. I hope you found it the same. I’ll be waiting for Mr. Linky to fill up. Friday is a very exciting day, I love reading everyone’s review. And just by chance you haven’t yet heard of Book Review Friday (where have you been!?!) then check it out here and join in this week. :)

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Book Review Friday: 2 Timothy

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Hello everyone, it’s BRF time again. Woo Hoo! Right off, before I forget again I’ll let you know the book for next week. Lets all read Haggai each day until next Friday. It’s a very short book and I’m not sure I’ve ever read even a verse let alone the whole book. If you are reading this and don’t know what Book Review Friday is all about, check it out here and maybe you’ll want to join in. It’s not about perfection, it’s about encouraging each other to be digging deeper into God’s Word. :) Now for my review….

I am an underliner/highlighter. If I read something that convicts me or it’s written really well I always mark it somehow. 2 Timothy has a lot of underlining in it. I loved it! The very first thing that ‘hit me’ was in 1:12, "I know whom I have believed’. You know, Paul really did know who he was believing in. Why else would he go through all the afflictions he had to bear because of the cause of Christ?! Do I really know whom I’m serving? I know I don’t the same way Paul does, if I did my life would be very different. I’d still be a wife and mom and homemaker, but my daily focus would be sooo much higher than it is now. I’ve been consumed with the here and now. I’ve been very convicted about wanting my own comfort and ease.

Then along comes 2:4, "No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who listed him as a soldier". This verse really was a bit of a struggle for me. Just what does "affairs of this life’ mean anyway? I can’t just stop making meals, laundry, school with he kids etc. Life just seems to call for a few entanglements. But I need to remember, we are in the middle of a war here. God couldn’t care less if the laundry is done  or that my kids learn to read and write if they don’t learn to serve the Lord with all their hearts. It’s true. I know there’s a whole lot more kinds of entanglements but this post can’t be too long, so I’ll just move on. :)

I really have to die to self and be ready "in season and out of season" to preach Christ to my family. I read 2:24-26 through a mothers eyes and was even more convicted. I am called to be gentle to my children, patiently teaching them, humbly (oh, that’s me!) correcting them in their sin, seriously concerned with their little hearts that they will be brought to repentance. If they don’t, they will go to hell!  Do you ever think of that? Unless your children get saved they will spend eternity apart from God. Just because you are saved doesn’t mean they will be someday. I teach my kids the Bible, and take them to church and all that, but I don’t concern myself with them actually getting saved like I should.  I have to stop getting entangled and focus on eternal things.

I really have to stop and pray and ask the Lord to "stir up the gift of God that is in me" and start concentrating on things that really matter. A little bit of a revelation I had was in 4:17,"But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me,".  All the times that I have been strengthened in trials and brought through situations I always just thanked the Lord (if I remembered) and carried on my merry way thinking that God just loves me and that’s why he helps. I realize now, He helps and strengthens me so I can get right back up and carry on with the message and jobs He has for me. When He lifts me up, I’ll get up with purpose! God delivers us because there are still things He wants to use us for.

I’ve got so much to learn and He’s got so much to change. I want to be one of those that "loved His appearing." I want to be ready and waiting for Christ to come get me!

There was so much in this book and I can’t wait to see all that you girls have to say. I look forward to seeing your name on Mr. Linky! :) (Remember to check out the directions to use it properly.)

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