Bible study · Christian growth · Spiritual Refreshment

Hang Onto Every Word

Enraptured. Listening to every word spoken from His lips.

That’s the way the crowd at the temple listened to Jesus speak. He had just cleared out the money changers. They were the ones who had turned the temple of prayer into a place where robbers lurked. The Scribes and Pharisees hated him and only desired to kill Him, and what do we find Jesus doing? Teaching there in that temple. He spoke with such authority in simple words they could understand with Truth they had never heard before.

Luke 19:48 says…

All the people were very attentive to hear him.

In the Greek it says that they were “hanging on to His lips.” We have a saying that is similar. We would say, “they were hanging onto every word.”

What a contrast His words were to the formal, boring, dry, powerless and over-their-heads teaching from the scribes! Jesus’ words were life-giving and life-changing!

They still are.

Is your ear bent down close to your Bible so you can hear Him speak to you each day? Oh that we would say with the psalmist in Psalm 119 ~

 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

When you get in your car and “tune in” to a radio station, you can only listen to one station at a time. When you open your Bible to read, or when you are sitting in church listening to God’s Word being taught, are you “tuned in” to only one station – that of hearing from God? Or are you trying to tune in to several stations at one time – your text messages, your email alerts, your Facebook notifications or other distractions?

Oh that we would love God’s Words so much that we would “hang on to every word” so we won’t miss a single thing He wants to say to us!

Refresh the way you listen to the Word today. Stay tuned in to only One voice. What precious words did He speak to you today?

Godly Character Traits · spiritual growth · Spiritual Refreshment

One Thing We Can Do To Grow Spiritually This Year

We are a family of “Foodies.” We plan out our meals. We anticipate them. We enjoy them. We record them. When a new, “successful meal” is complete, I make sure I’ve marked that recipe for future use. I have a written copy of that recipe either on-line, in one of my cookbooks, or in my recipe box because I want to be able to go back and re-do that menu!

I make notes about how I may have tweaked the recipe, a substitution I made, or even what I learned I need to do the next time I make it. I love flipping through my recipes and bringing up old recipes I’d forgotten about! Without that written reminder, it would have been lost forever because we eat lots of meal in a year’s time!

But even more than my physical food, the greatest “food” I partake of each day is the manna of God’s Word – the Bible. It is a feast that is never complete. There’s always more. It’s rich, sweet, and nourishing. I need it. I look forward to it. I remember it.

For many of us, we enjoy the taking in of God’s Word, but we do little in regards to making a memory of what we’ve read or what we’ve learned. Simply put – we don’t write anything down after we’ve read the Scriptures.
Here are four reasons I’m choosing to journal when I read God’s Word this year ~

  • It helps me remember the Truth I just learned. There’s something about putting it in ink that just cements it better in my heart and mind. That leads to the next reason…
  • It helps me meditate on those Truths throughout the day. As I’m driving, I’m thinking about what I wrote down. I talk to the Lord and ask Him questions about the things that come to my mind as I ponder it.
  • It helps me dig deeper into those Truths and add notes – things from commentaries or quotes from other authors that are a blessing.
  • It helps me see my spiritual growth. Just like the physical growth of a child isn’t seen day by day, but you see it when you compare it to last year’s growth chart, neither is my spiritual growth seen daily. However, my journal serves as my “growth chart,” if you will. As I look back a month or a year later on what I’ve written, I see how the Lord has increased my faith, taught me lessons, and revealed more about Himself to me. It’s so encouraging!

I‘ve had seasons when I didn’t journal and I truly feel I didn’t grow like I should have. See if you resonate with my reasons for not doing so. I think there are four basic explanations as to why most women don’t journal ~

  1. I’m not a writer. I think that can mean two things – 1. I don’t enjoy using a pen…it’s just not my favorite thing to do the process of writing. It’s tiring. It’s messy 2. I’m not really good at expressing myself creatively.
  2. I used to, but I’ve just gotten away from it. I got tired of the habit.
  3. It takes more time and that’s one thing I don’t have!
  4. I really don’t feel like I need to do that. I’m good with just reading. I can remember it without writing it down.

As we think back to all the physical meals we’ve eaten this past year, there’s no way we could give a commentary on each one. How could we answer, “What was the best part? What did you enjoy most?” However, if we had each recipe card in front of us, we could be reminded and have something to share, right? Let’s make the analogy – As we think back to all the spiritual meals we’ve been exposed to in this past year, (preaching as well as personal devotions) could we share one truth we learned from each one? Only if we wrote something down.

Oh how much more value there is in God’s Word than our physical food! Job said it well in Job 23:12 ~

Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Could you and I really say that? It will show in how we value the Bible. Ask God to give you a greater love for His Word so that you will treasure it more than ever before!

Next Wednesday I’m going to share some practical answers to our four excuses and also share a guide in Bible journaling that can be simple, and effective!

Refresh your response to God’s Word,

Coronavirus · Encouragement · refreshing others

Five Blessings During the Coronavirus

I want to show you some of the blessings of this very different week.  We quote Romans 8:28 often to others who are going through hard times, because we want them to remember that God is doing good things even in their hard situation.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose

What about you right now?  Are you seeing some good things that God is doing during these weeks of the worldwide crisis? Time will continue to show us more good things that God is doing, but in my little world, I can see with my little eyes some good things around me and I can’t wait to show you some pictures to illustrate them!

Continue reading “Five Blessings During the Coronavirus”

Coronavirus · Encouragement · spiritual growth

What Do I Do Now? Everything’s Been Cancelled.

fog

Would you just stop and think for a minute…

How many times in the recent months have you sighed (and maybe even complained) about how busy you were?

My hand is up.  I am guilty.

I said there was no time for (xyz).  I thought to myself how I wish I could just stay home and get some things done.

None of us could ever have imagined the state in which we find ourselves.  Like every other “event” on my calendar, the ladies’ events I was planning on attending this spring have both been cancelled.  Continue reading “What Do I Do Now? Everything’s Been Cancelled.”

Christian growth · fellowship with God

Let’s Advance!

LPA 4

Last weekend I had the blessing of attending The Ladies’ Prayer Advance in Roanoke, Virginia. This event is like a “ladies’ retreat” in that it is a weekend away.  However, it’s called an Advance because the whole purpose is to encourage women to move forward in their walk with God.

LPA 1
Men joined the ladies for this choir special, but the congregation was all women.

Sometimes we need a couple of days to rest, move slowly as we talk to God and spend time alone with Him, but then there are other times when we need someone to put their hand in the middle of our back, so to speak, and help us move closer to God through:

  1. Bible preaching in general sessions
  2. Biblical teaching in Break-out sessions
  3. Times of corporate prayer
  4. Times of individual prayer

It is absolutely wonderful.  It’s the best kind of tired you can feel!  To have heard God’s Word taught or preached seven times in those two and half days is powerful.  To spend time alone in prayer is convicting.  To pray with your prayer group several times is better than I can even describe.  The closeness that it brings is a special blessing that only the Spirit of God could do.

The break-out sessions allow each woman to choose topics that speak to her heart.  Abuse, contentment, depression, marriage, unanswered prayer, and overwhelming situations were some of the subjects addressed.

This is an exhausting weekend.  There are no shopping adventures.  No hours of rest between sessions.  No extra activities are planned.  Does it sound boring?  It’s anything but that! Does this mean we don’t have fun?  Hardly.  When you get right with God, you also are the happiest and you are also a blessing to those around you!  Our group had wonderful, sweet fellowship, laughter, tears and unity.  It was precious!

LPA 3
This was after the last session, and I can say, we did indeed Triumph! We were all clean and right with God and it was wonderful!

 

Every year we make it a point to go to a fun place called Elderberry’s for lunch.  They have a TON of different wraps and a MILLION different smoothies to choose from.

LPA 6

This year we ended our time at the Ladies’ Prayer Advance by sharing lunch together here before we had one last time of prayer and headed home…completely physically exhausted, but absolutely, wonderfully refreshed spiritually!!

Attending conferences like this is a huge sacrifice of each ladies’ time, but we all need it if we truly desire to advance in our relationship with the Lord.  Do you make sure to find a time or two each year to spend away at conferences like this so you can be challenged and renewed spiritually?  It’s really helpful if you are longing to advance!

Next year’s Ladies’ Prayer Advance is being held March 21-23 in Roanoke, VA.  Perhaps you would consider joining the more than 500 that were there this year?  You can find information here.

I will also be attending a Ladies’ Retreat this month in North Carolina at The Wilds.  I’m excited about this special weekend as well.  You can find information here and can also register on-line.  You can’t go to The Wilds and not receive a blessing!!

Take time out to refresh and advance!  You’ll be so glad you did!

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