Friday, January 27, 2017

5 Minute Friday- Control

Today, I am participating in 5 Minute Friday at Kate Motaung. Today's word is CONTROL. Here I go:

I laughed, when I saw this word, because I though of the song, "Control" by Janet Jackson.  Yes, I'm that old! In the song, Janet sings about how when she was younger she did what her father told her, but now she does things her own way, running her own life and being the one in control. 
As I've gotten older I've realized just how very little I control and in some ways, it is comforting because it frees me from anxiety and fear. Being controlled by the Spirit of Christ within me is the kind of control that brings me peace, comfort and direction in a world that seems to be spiraling out of control moment by moment. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I'm Pretty Tired Now...

People run for a lot of different reasons-exercise, relaxation and just pure enjoyment. As Christians, we are in a race and exhorted to run the race with endurance, but sometimes, we run aimlessly; running after things that don't serve the ultimate purpose of our lives which is to enjoy God and love Him forever- to truly live in intimacy and oneness with the Lord; to be in  Christ and have Christ in us as our living. 

I have felt like Forrest at times, running without any real goal or end in mind. And, like Forrest, I have found myself "pretty tired", bone weary even. The things I was pursuing were good things, but good things done apart from Christ are like wood, hay and stubble(1 Corinthians 3:12-13).  Wood, hay and stubble are quickly consumed by the fire, but the gold, silver and precious stones endure the fire. 

My word for this year is FOCUS. Keeping myself turned to Him helps me to eliminate everything that is not of Him; yes, even the good things. There is so much to draw us away from the simplicity of Christ-even in the church. I do believe that the key to rest, joy, peace, contentment and all the spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ can be experienced as long as we abide in Him and continue to look away from all other things and depend solely upon Him

Friday, January 13, 2017

5 Minute Friday- Middle

This is another 5 Minute Friday. You can read more about it at Kate Motaung. Today's word is "middle." 

This morning when I saw what the writing prompt was, I thought of the saying "between a rock and a hard place." I felt like I was between two hard places in several situations in my life. But then, God reminded me of Moses and the children of Israel. They were between a rock and a hard place or more specifically, Pharaoh and the Egyptian army and the Red Sea. Can you imagine the trepidation, fear and sheer panic; especially for those with children?  It made my "middle" seem like a walk in the park, but it reminded me that no matter where we are, God is there. He IS a very present help in the time of trouble. He is right there in the middle of our pain, grief sorrow, joy and gladness. He is the All-Sufficient One! He promises to carry us through the middle.

Friday, January 6, 2017

5 Minute Friday-Connect

Today, I am participating in my first 5 Minute Friday! I'm excited and nervous, but I was encouraged to take the plunge  opportunity, by my friend Latonya.  5 Minute Friday is a community of writers who write for 5 minutes on a given prompt. You can read more about Five Minute Friday at Kate Motaung. Today's prompt is "Connect". I'm going in...!

Connect. We hear it spoken of often, but how connected are we in this age of the world wide web and the global community? This type of connectedness feels somehow unconnected and far away. Real connectedness is up close and personal. It's beautiful and ugly. It's joy and pain, sunshine and rain as Frankie Beverly sang. It's reaching across the fence instead of reaching acroos the world. It's putting your heart and soul to pen and paper to send a letter of encouragement . With all our technological advances-email, instant messaging, etc, it is wonderful to receive a handwritten letter in the mailbox.

A New Bible Reading Plan

I have attempted several times to read the entire Bible, but eventually lost momentum around Leviticus or got overwhelmed with the amount of reading. I have tried Professor Grant Horner's plan, which I really liked, but after awhile, I found it challenging to complete the daily readings. 

Yesterday, a friend introduced me to Tim Challies favorite Bible reading plan. You can read more about it at the blog, but my favorite feature is that it is a 5 day reading plan, so it allows 2 days for catching up. This plan seems very doable and I would encourage you to give it a try!

I just started yesterday, so I plan to do catch up reading this weekend. This morning, I read Genesis 3-5 and Mark 2. I enjoyed seeing the perfect humanity of Christ in Mark 2, especially his answer to the Pharisees in vv 23-28  regarding the Sabbath. The Pharisees were the popular party. They were extremely accurate and minute concerning the law of Moses. When they questioned Messiah about the sabbath, He responded, "Have ye never read what David did..?" Of course, they had read this, but because of their pride and spiritual blindness, they missed the Lord. Christ Himself even said of them, You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, As we read the Bible, let us read with open hearts, minds and spirits, for the Bible is like no other book and must be read not only with our eyes and minds but with openness of heart and spirit. 

Praise Him!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A New Year

January 3, 2017

Ahh, the New Year. For many this is a time of reflection and resolution making. Earlier, this year, I realized that the changes that I wanted in my life couldn't wait until January 1, 2017. They needed to be started TODAY.

As of today, I am two weeks into exercising consistently. With so many great sources on the Internet, I found my excuse list growing shorter and shorter. Some of my favorites are Jessica Smith and Leslie Sansone walking videos which can be found on Youtube.

As a child, I was a voracious reader. In 3rd grade, I won the prize for reading the most books that school year-a whopping 134! Recently, a blogger friend,, renewed my love for reading. I recently completed Present over Perfect. Although it was repetitive at times, it was encouraging and left me with several things to muse on. Below are some of the books, I plan to read this year. Several of the books are books borrowed from my local library. Did I mention that I was a bibliophile?! One way that I am hoping to reduce debt and clutter is to utilize my local library more.

One of the books on my list, is Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. It's an oldie but goodie which I am perusing mainly for encouragement as we pursue our goal of becoming debt free. Yesterday, I wrote down the reason that I want to become debt free(besides going on the Dave Ramsey show to do the debt free scream-and dance!) is to "Be free so that I can give freely and live freely." In some ways, I am able to do that now, but it can be limiting because of debt.

Finally, I want to grow in my relationship with the Lord this year. Last year, I started a study on the book of Isaiah with a friend. I really enjoyed this especially because Isaiah had always been a book I shied away from. Besides continuing the Isaiah study, I am studying Ephesians by reading one chapter daily for a week and reading a Proverb daily. Since there are 30-31 days per month, the daily Proverb reading is a great reading plan. I will be sharing highlights here at the blog. I'm also working on scripture memory using Scripture Typer. I have tried other memorization methods, including Memverse,  but I really like Scripture Typer and highly recommend it!

Today's precept from 365 Days of Wonder is "Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind".-Henry James.

That's all for now. Please share your goals, dreams and plans for 2017!

grace and peace,