Archive | November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving_main5minutesforfaith125-2All this month at 5 Minutes For Faith, contributors shared reasons for being thankful. So for today’s post, I’d like you to take some time to visit that site and read through the variety of reasons different people are thankful. Chances are good, you’ll come away more thankful yourself!

Also, please take a minute to list some reasons you are thankful in the comments below.

Thankfulness just feels good, doesn’t it?!

This entry was posted on November 28, 2013. 2 Comments

There’s No Place Like Home

This post continues our discussion on The In-Between by Jeff Goins & focuses on Chapter 2.

Biblical Parable of the Prodigal SonThe title of this post likely brings The Wizard of Oz to mind, right? As well it should. Think about the movie, the main idea behind it, and ignore the impossibility, the fiction of it all. Dorothy wanted to be anywhere but home. But once she got a taste of being far away from home – or so she thought – and unable to get home, she realized what home actually meant. As with so many blessings in life, we don’t realize what we have until they are gone.

Soon after I graduated high school and moved on to college, my parents divorced and my childhood home was sold. I suddenly found myself without a home to go to. I quickly realized the value of home. Not until years later, when I got married and created my own home with my husband, was I able to gain that feeling of being home once again. Having “lost” my home, I truly realized the value of having one.

Why do we feel more settled when there’s a place to call home? Ever thought about that? Perhaps it’s because home holds the people we love most, the people who are always “there.” Those people may be the ones we hurt and who hurt us the most, but they are also the ones who define home for us and bring us the most joy in life. More specifically, as Jeff Goins says in The In-Between,

“Home is not necessarily a location but a feeling.”

As we enter this holiday season, take time to enjoy “home,” wherever that is. Maybe it’s at your parents or in-laws. Maybe it’s at your own home with family visiting. Maybe it’s all of those places. However you specifically define home, make a point to enjoy the moments spent there. Avoid spending too much time looking back or waiting for what’s next, and simply enjoy what’s right now.

Note: Our next discussion inspired by “The In-Between” by Jeff Goins will cover Chapter 3 and will be posted on December 19th.

This entry was posted on November 21, 2013. 2 Comments

Traveling Through the Psalms – Psalm 7

Ever been persecuted? Before answering that, let’s take a minute to understand what “persecuted” actually means. Here’s the definition:

persecute

Now answer the question. Have you ever been persecuted?

When I was in junior high, a “friend” of mine loved me one minute, having me over for the weekend and calling me her best friend, and then hated me the next minute, spreading lies and writing mean notes. If I knew the definition of persecution at the time, at least the second one listed above, I would have said that’s what I was experiencing.

But when I read stories of 12-year-olds committing suicide because of bullying and find out the bullies pursued her far beyond the school walls, I realize I was far from persecuted.

David was definitely persecuted. Many people, including his own son, persecuted him by pursuing him and trying to kill him.

Jesus was persecuted too. People spread rumors about Him and eventually succeeded in killing him. They thought they won. They didn’t.

There are many ways to deal with persecution. Suicide. Eye for an eye. Vengeance. I chose depression and self-hatred.

But David gives another option in Psalm 7. Please read Psalm 7, again if you read it before starting this post, and try to identify what David’s words suggest we do when persecuted.

You’ll find the answer not quite mid-way through the Psalm in verse 6. David cries out to God, acknowledging  Him as a fair Judge over all.

David also acknowledges that while God on the hand deals fairly with evil, He on the other hand protects the “true and right” (v 10).

God can do both perfectly, you know. He can meter out justice fairly and at the same time come to the aid of the obedient.

How can He do this? Why should we leave this judgment of those who persecute up to God? Verse 9 tells us that only God can look into the mind and heart. In other words, only God knows true intentions.

We can evaluate (judge) actions, but only God knows the true intentions of the heart and mind. Only He can decide someone’s ultimate fate. Let’s determine today to let God do what only He can do.

Before we close today’s devotion, we need to acknowledge that David was just a man. Of course he’s going to call on a higher power when his back is, literally at times, against a [cave] wall. So let’s look to a perfect example, to Jesus. What does Luke 23:34 say Jesus did while being persecuted? He sought forgiveness for His persecutors. In other words, He – God in flesh – let God the Father handle it.

Enough said?

A Wise Woman Builds – November Application

11-1-12 A wise woman buildsRemember that our goal for studying the Proverbs 31 Woman was to have goals and standards that we can work toward to increasingly become godly women. This description should not be a heavy burden. Please never forget that.

November 2013 Application

This is a gentle reminder to always pursue deliberate application of God’s Word.

For November… Look at the topic areas from our A Wise Woman Builds study. Choose one that you will commit to prayer this month. Ask the Holy Spirit to cultivate this aspect in you in fresh ways.

May these monthly suggestions be gentle reminders of the potential we all have as Christian women.