Say to Them…

“Are you going to move the boxes out of the guest room?” David asked.

“I can’t until I make space in the storage room,” I replied.

I spent the morning in the storage room. I packed the drums and moved the cases to the bottom of the stairs. Then I texted Derek to pick them up.

David moved the drum shield on his lunch hour. (I couldn’t lift it.) I cleared the corner; rolled up the rug, and swept the floor.

“…God is for you. That means you can do the thing you are afraid you can’t do. …Beginning is usually the hard part. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step; after that it gets easier. …Radio commentator Paul Harvey says, ‘You can always tell when you’re on the road to success. It’s uphill all the way.’ ” The Word for You Today, 11-13-18

I spent the afternoon putting fall decorations away. Then I put away the decorating boxes. I cleared the suitcases and boxes off of the bed. When David got home from work, we took the bed apart. We leaned the pieces against the wall in the storage room. We swept the floor and called it a day.

* * * * * * *

This morning, David asked if I had a plan for the game/craft room. I got out my floor plan and showed him. It helps him to see the plan.

“…A Harvard study has demonstrated that our brain cannot tell the difference between a visualized image of our success and reality. However, it can tell the difference between a visualized image and a fantasy. …our brain looks at fantasies as a threat. …” How to Visualize Your Success in 3 Easy Ways, LaRae Quy, FBI Agent

The first step was “Be very intentional with the way you talk to yourself.” We also need to be intentional about how we speak to others.

Numbers 6:23-27, “…This is how you are to bless the People of Israel. Say to them, (24) God bless you and keep you, (25) God smile on you and gift you, (26) God look you full in the face and make you prosper. (27) In so doing, they will place my name on the People of Israel – I will confirm it by blessing them.” The Message

Are you procrastinating on a project? Can you draw a picture of the result? Can you write steps to your goal? What is the first step?

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

#bible

God is Kind, But He’s Not Soft

“And when this letter arrived in Rome, hardly anyone read it, certainly no one of influence. …And yet in no time, as such things go, this letter left all those other writings in the dust. …The quick rise of this letter to a peak of influence is extraordinary, written as it was by an obscure Roman citizen without connections. …He takes logic and argument, poetry and imagination, Scripture and prayer, creation and history and experience, and weaves them into this letter that has become the premier document of Christian theology.” The Message Introduction to Romans

The letter to the Romans changed Rome. We are all like the Romans – in desperate need of God and completely oblivious to that fact. We all start at the same place.

Romans 3:9, “…Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners.” The Message

God doesn’t leave us like He found us. He doesn’t abandon us. He walks with us in this new life.

Romans 2:4, “…God is kind, but He’s not soft. In kindness He takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” The Message

We think we have to straighten everything out on our own. We don’t – He does.

Romans 3:6, “…How else would things ever get straightened out if God didn’t do the straightening?” The Message

* * * * * * *

Romans 3:28, “What we’ve learned is this: God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. …” The Message

We are righteous because God says we are. We inherit this gift; we don’t earn it. God speaks, we believe, miracles happen.

Romans 4:17-18, “…Abraham was first named a “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. (18) When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said He would do. …” The Message

* * * * * * *

“God has a personal plan for your life called ‘His Will.’ But you can’t just play defense, you have to play offense. You can’t just do nothing wrong, you have to do something right. You can’t just follow the rules, you’ve been called to follow Jesus….”  “All In” by Mark Batterson

It’s time to play offense! We are all changing and change is hard.

6 Easy Steps to Make You More Resilient 

  1. Make a plan – Plans create a roadmap…through the stress…of change.
  2. Ask yourself a lot of questions – ‘Questions can virtually rewire our emotions, thoughts, and behavior.’ Psychologist Marilee Adams
  3. Take small but steady steps forward – Continuous improvement…steady movement forward…to make changes, monitor the results, and then adjust.
  4. Get rid of doubters – Share your plans and dreams…with people who are wiser and more experienced.
  5. Develop new, better habits – Replace an old habit with a new one.
  6. Grit up – It isn’t your problems that define you – it’s how you react and recover from them.

“…the unknown forces us to adapt to new circumstances. ….where we can develop new talents and strengths.”

“6 Easy Steps to Make You More Resilient,” by FBI Agent LaRae Quy

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

God’s Word Stands Firm and Forever

On Wednesdays, I pray for America. I remind God this country was built on the Bible and it stands forever.

Isaiah 40:8, “True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade, but our God’s Word stands firm and forever.” The Message

What is your foundation? What are you building your life on?

“A strong mind is not something slapped together on a shallow foundation. It needs solid rock. Like a skyscraper, the higher you want to go, the deeper you must go.”
“4 Secrets of a Strong Mind” by FBI Agent Larae Quy

* * * * * * * *

“What the exiles needed – hope, comfort, tender words, a future – could be found only in the faithfulness of Yahweh, their God. The prophet offers exactly that message in Isaiah 40, pointing away from the sins of the past, away from the conditions of the present, to a future when the exiles would experience divine faithfulness and be restored to their land.” Chronological Study Bible Notes

* * * * * * * *

Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.” The Message

* * * * * * * *

Isaiah 41:14-15, “Do you feel like a lowly worm, Jacob? Feel like a fragile insect, Israel? I’ll help you. I, God, want to reassure you. The God who buys you back, the Holy One of Israel. (15) I’m transforming you from worm to harrow, from insect to iron.” The Message

* * * * * * *

‘…those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life, through the One, Jesus Christ,’ Romans 5:17. The Greek word for reign here means to ‘rule from a foundation of power.’ When Paul talks about ‘reigning in life,’ he’s talking about having ruling power over sin – and not just in heaven but in this life. We are to reign over every demonic power, every lust, every principality that comes against us. That is true sanctification. …

…I asked him what had kept him true to Jesus all these years. He said, ‘Brother David, you told me once that Jesus loved me. I became convinced of that. So, I just started loving Him back. That’s what has kept me.’

Nicky didn’t have any theology of sanctification. But he was being sanctified – because he was loving his Father, and receiving his Father’s love…” David Wilkerson, “The Gift of Righteousness,” World Challenge Pulpit Series, February 19, 2018

The best foundation is loving Jesus – The Rock!

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

God Says There’s Plenty

I was cleaning the papers out of my Bible and found several “giving” envelopes. I put them in there a few weeks ago. My plan was to put a bill in one at each service. I was thinking of giving one dollar bills and five dollar bills.

I opened my wallet – no ones or fives! The only options were a ten or a twenty. I decided to wait until noon to see if David had an offering. (Don’t put me on a pedestal. I always fall off.)

All morning God worked on my heart. I have no trouble giving but would there be enough left over? I’m just like the widow with 2 sons in 2 Kings 4.

2 Kings 4:2, “…’What do you have in your house?’ ‘Nothing,’ she replied. ‘Well, I do have a little oil.’ ” The Message

God meets our needs using what we already have on hand. There are seeds all around us. They can’t grow unless we plant them.

2 Kings 4:7, “…Go sell the oil and make good on your debts. Live, both you and your sons, on what’s left.” The Message

That’s the crux of the problem. Will there be enough left over? We like to keep a cushion in our checking account and some bills in our wallet. It keeps us comfortable. But God is constantly pulling us out of our comfort zones.

“We…pushed through our discomfort zones….My brother and I both knew that if we stopped, we’d freeze to death before morning. On the other hand, if we depleted our resources, we’d be unable to continue….we don’t always work smart….we need to pace ourselves because it allows us the time to prioritize our values and what is important to us.” FBI Agent LaRae Quy – 6 Ways to Get Through Adversity

When we live only in our comfort zones, we are not prepared to face adversity. In fact, it surprises us when adversity comes! But sooner or later adversity comes and more than once.

Funny. I have no problem coming home from the mall with an empty wallet. It’s easy to deplete my resources there! I rarely pace myself there and come home exhausted.

God reminded me how he multiplies our resources later in 2 Kings 4. The man from Baal Shalishah brought 20 loaves of bread to Elisha. He told his servant to feed the 100 men who were there. Elisha’s servant said there wasn’t enough.

2 Kings 4:43, 44, “…Elisha said, ‘Just go ahead and do it. God says there’s enough.’ (44) And sure enough, there was. He passed around what he had – they not only ate, but had leftovers.” The Message

Looking into my wallet again, God reminded me of Isaac. He planted seeds during a famine and reaped 100 fold. He didn’t double his seed, he harvested 100 times more, (see Genesis 26:12-33). I just have to decide – do I want to grow $1,000 or $2,000?

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