Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goals - 2009

OK, I know it is only the end of November, and New Years is still a month away. Christamas is coming, and that is probably all that is on your mind. But you really should take some time in the month of December to think about your goals for 2009; particularly your Bible reading and studying goals. This should be an important part of your life! Be realistic. Did you set a goal for 2008? Was it more than you could manage? Did you accomplish anything?

Bible study is important. Today's society is largely ignorant about the Bible. So many mainline denominations place their emphasis on worship and experience and many Believers are not getting the meat of the Word. Go look for it! There are many Bible Study tools available, but you have to look for them. The Sunday morning sermon is a great place to start, but don't let that be all you get. Knowledge of God needs to go hand in hand with worship and experience with God.

I am behind in my 2008 goal of reading through the entire Bible chronologically, but I will finish by the end of February, so I am going to finish that first. But I am already thinking about what I will do next. I wish I could read the Bible through again, but I also want to do more in depth study and spend more time meditating and thinking on scripture. I can't do both. So for this year, I think I am going to pray through Psalms daily, maybe listen to Proverbs a few times, and study and memorize from the book of Romans. Or, now that I think about it, I might listen through the Bible at a somewhat leisurely pace... perhaps the Audio Bible would be a good Christmas present...

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I pray Your Blessings on our family
and on the work of our hands,
whether physical wealth comes or goes.

I pray You would bless our hearts
with peace and joy,
with laughter and love,
with giving and thanksgiving,
with forgiveness and forgiving.

Fill our house with Your Blessings and Your Glory.
Make us fit for Your Blessings and Your Glory.

O Lord, Bless us.

Rebecca A Givens, 11/23/2008

Friday, November 28, 2008


I just finished the book of Esther. I've always loved this book! Such great quotes. This time a different part caught my attention. What would it be like to receive word of a law that allowed everyone to kill your people on a certain day in 9-10 months? What if the government said, "6 months from now it will be illegal to be a Christian. All Christians will be killed and their property seized." The "anticipation" leading up to that event would be horrible; waiting is always the hardest part of anything.

Isn't there a verse about waiting on the Lord? Several I think. Worked well for the Jews on this occasion.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


2008 has been a tough year, and I am thankful it is almost over.
In spite of this, or maybe because of it, I have much to be thankful for.

I thank God for my church; for my pastor and my friends who have become my family.

I thank God for my children and for the evidence that He is working in their lives.

In a time characterized by unfaithful men, I thank God for a husband who loves his wife and his children and God.

I thank God for my house. It is full of chaos and clutter, books and kids, giggling teenagers and serious conversation, and the stuff of life.

I thank God for His Word, that it never changes. Books change, and computers change, record players change, and teachers change, but God’s Word will always remain the same. Sometimes it opens up and grows deeper, but then it’s More, not different.

I thank God for His Spirit that teaches me and guides me and has shown me such wonderous things.

I thank God for His forgiveness, not just for forgiving me, but for allowing me such remarkable peace and joy in forgiving others.

I look at this list, and I see that every single thing is a miracle, an act of God, and I thank Him for that too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Resh - A Hebrew Prayer

Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law.
Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise.
Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees.
Your compassion is great, O LORD; preserve my life according to your laws.
Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from your statutes.
I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word.
See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your love.
All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.

r Resh - Psalm 119:153-160

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

But God

Christian Motorcycle Association

But God
By: John Ogden, Sr.
November 17, 2008

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. (Job 1:1, Job 42:12)Job went through many testings and trials. He was attacked in every area from his family to his own health and finances.

There would be no hope for Job. BUT GOD

God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, what is interesting is Sarah was beyond the age of childbearing. In the natural, there was no hope of Abraham being the father of many nations as he was childless and advanced in years. BUT GOD

Three Hebrew children, who refused to bow down to the king, were sentenced to be thrown into the fiery furnace. This surely would have meant death for them. BUT GOD

In the story of Daniel king Darius signed a decree that whoever petitioned any god or man in the next thirty days other than the king was to be cast into a den of lions. Daniel, refusing to obey the king’s decree, continued to openly pray to God. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den and would have been eaten by the hungry lions. BUT GOD

Peter, a disciple of Jesus Christ who had a hot temper, denied Christ three times. He would appear to be unfit as a leader in the Christian faith. BUT GOD

Lazarus was a man who had been dead for four days and had started to decay. BUT GOD

There are untold numbers of people in desperate and hopeless situations, people that the world has given up on, people the doctors have sent home with no hope, Christians who are back slidden, men and women who were greatly used of God at one time that may find themselves in hopeless situations. May I remind you to take the hopelessness of your situations and place them in God’s hands. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask or think.


© Christian Motorcyclists Association 2008.CONTACT US RIDE PLAN NEW BELIEVERS Christian Motorcyclists AssociationP.O. Box 9, 4278 Hwy 71 South, Hatfield, AR 71945, (870) 389-6196You are signed-up to receive devotional email messagesfrom the Christian Motorcyclists AssociationTo stop getting the CMA Devotional Email, please unsubscribe.

Christian Motorcycle Association

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Story of Forgiveness

I know women whose husbands have hurt them terribly. These men have lied to them, cheated on them, abandoned them, and abused them. How those women live with that level of hurt I do not know.

I, however, am married to a wonderful man. He loves God, he loves me, and he loves his children. This past year money problems have put a strain on our marriage. Our communication has not been what it once was. Neither of us is by any means perfect anyway, but this seems to have attacked each of us at our weakest point. I personally have struggled with anger in a major way. But even through our struggle, I never doubted Wesley’s love for me and I never worried that he would leave me.

While I have not had a horrible husband who hurt me deeply, I have experienced a deep level of pain in my past and I know that forgiveness is a large part of the healing from that kind of heart wound. Forgiveness is what keeps you from growing bitter. A couple of weeks ago God reminded me about forgiving people who had wounded me deeply. He reminded me of what I had forgiven in the past, and that I needed to forgive someone now. Then God said something that totally took me by surprise,
“Becky, while you are forgiving them, you need to forgive Wesley too.”
“But God, Wesley doesn’t need to be forgiven, he hasn’t done anything like that to hurt me. He loves me.”
That’s true, but do I feel hurt?
Yeah. I do feel hurt. Hurt and disappointed that we are struggling, hurt and disappointed with our relationship, hurt and disappointed that we can’t seem to understand each other. I definitely feel hurt.
Am I angry?
Oh yes, anger has been a huge struggle this year. Remember the beast?
What does an unforgiving heart become?
Angry and bitter.

This conversation I had with God and the thoughts that followed it became the piece I wrote on Forgiveness. I wrote, “Forgiveness is an attitude, a state of mind, a way of living life.” Believe me, I have not been living my life with an attitude of forgiveness toward anybody in the past year. Right then I forgave the people I needed to forgive, and a most remarkable thing happened inside of me. As I got out of bed after that conversation with God, I found myself unable to stop grinning. Nothing had changed on the outside. The people I forgave may never know how much they hurt me, may never know that I have forgiven them, Wesley did not even know it at that moment. My act of forgiveness was not for any of them, it was for me; God did something miraculous in my heart. And I still can’t stop grinning!

Rebecca A Givens

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Qoph - A Hebrew Prayer

I call with all my heart; answer me, O LORD, and I will obey your decrees.
I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes.
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.
My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.
Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your laws.
Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your law.
Yet you are near, O LORD, and all your commands are true.
Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever.

q Qoph - Psalm 119:145-152

Friday, November 21, 2008

St John in Exile

Today I am sick and my brain is not working too well... didn't feel like reading or thinking much. So I re-watched St John in Exile. What a great show! This is a 1-man, 2-act play by Dean Jones, filmed live. After watching it I feel like I have spent an evening with John the Apostle. It entertains and educates; it touches the heart and the mind. Well worth your time!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Today I began reading in the book of Ezra. I would like to know more of the historical background in these latter books of the Bible - the nations and kings in power and the level of freedom the people had under them. A wonderful book I have found is Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament (Zondervan Charts). Browsing the charts is very helpful!

Anyway, as I said, I began reading in Ezra today. Some of the Israelites have returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.

Ezra 3:10-13 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel. With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD : "He is good;his love to Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

The celebration is mixed with weeping. Shouts of joy for the promise of the future, weeping for the loss of the past. So very much like life for us. I think both are necessary.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Bible

My Bible still has not turned up. Thanks so much to those who have e-mailed or called to ask. I turn the pages of another Bible I picked up off the shelf and it all feels so different. You know how home feels? Safe, comfortable, familiar? That's how my old Bible felt. In karate we bow in... that sets the stage for training; my body and my mind slip into a mindset to forget everything else and train. My Bible was the same. The feel of it, the memories of it, the well known passage on a particular page; they prepared my heart and drew me into conversation with God. My notebook was hundreds of pages of incomplete thoughts; ideas waiting to be explored, prayers waiting to be prayed, random thoughts waiting to be linked into something coherant, memories of blessings.

Yet God is still the same, His Word is still the same. LOL, I guess my own state of mind is not the same; but it was never too stable to begin with. Today I will buy a new notebook. I suspect I will have lots more incomplete thoughts to fill it with!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pre-Teen Ballroom Dance Class

My teenage girls have been in a ballroom dance class for a little over a year, and have enjoyed it immensely. My youngest has been longing for the day when she would be old enough to join! And honestly, if I had known then what I know now, I would have made my son take this class when he was younger. Ballroom dance builds confidence and coordination, and is a great context for teen socialization.

Well, now there is a Pre-Teen Ballroom Dance Class! Emily went today and had a wonderful time. She came home tired; they worked hard and learned a lot. Here are the particulars:

Tiny-Teen Ballroom Dance Class
for 8-12 year olds
Saturdays, 11am-12pm
November 15-December 20
Dance Etcetera in Pelham, AL
Cost is $5/ week, payable at the door when you come
You do not have to come every week, and you only pay when you come! Making this a wonderfully affordable extracurricular activity.
call Sarah at 763-222-9490, or Curt and Wendy at 205-419-5104

Monday, November 17, 2008

Still no Bible

I still haven't found my Bible. We have searched the house and the car many times, even walked around the yard in case the dog carried it off. I don't believe even she could have eaten the whole thing without leaving some sort of evidence. But it just appears to be gone.

I just looked through our book shelves and picked up a generic Bible to read today. It feels like I have lost an old and trusted friend. I have to keep reminding myself that the value of the Word of God is just that... it's not my specific copy of the Bible, it is the Words themselves.

The Bible study notes and potential thoughts to write about cannot be replaced. That feels like I've lost a piece of myself.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pray for my Bible

Help! I have lost my Bible and I am feeling incredibly lost. I had it early this morning when I was gathering up my things for church, but when I got to church it was not in the car. I have searched the house and the car... no Bible. I even searched the road in case I left it on the car and drove off. But it could easily still be in any of those places.

My Bible is full of notes, prayer lists, bookmarks my kids made, and a notebook full of Bible study notes and thoughts that I might write about one day. Stuff I can't replace.

Please pray that it turns up soon. I know that today's world is full of chaos and illness and big important things to pray for, and that this is insignificant in the grand scheme of things... but it is a huge loss for me.



I am now reading in the book of Daniel. What a fun, strange, inspiring book to read, especially after the depressing prophecies of Jeremiah! The confidence in God that is displayed by Daniel and his 3 friends is just wonderful. Their confidence gives them courage to follow God regardless of the consequences. I just love Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo's speech to Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

And then there is the description of Daniel's actions when a later king, Darius, makes it illegal to worship anything except himself for a month.

Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Not only did he continue to pray to God, in front of his open window, but he continued to give thanks to God! It is hard to give thanks to God in times of difficulty, but Daniel did it, even as he was being set up to be killed by the lions. And he didn't know that God was going to rescue Him from the lions. Just like his 3 friends didn't know that God was going to rescue them from the fire they were facing. They had been taken captive, removed from their families, sent to live in a foreign land full of foreign gods and customs, yet they clung to God no matter what the cost was to them.

May we be as faithful to God, as confident in Him, and as couragous for Him as they were!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008


Last Sunday we had a missionary from Thailand speak to us in Sunday School and church. He said something that has stuck with me this week. He talked about how a new Believer in Thailand had gone from talking about "the Lord" to talking about "my Lord". I was reminded about the Old Testament stories where Isaac and later Jacob went from talking about "the God of my father" to "my God". I have always loved that moment of acknowledgment, or submission, or realization, when they accept the Lord as not just the God of the Universe, but their own God. There is an intimacy, an aspect of a personal relationship, that goes with that little word "my". As I have thought about it this week I have been reminded that He is "my" Lord, and I am "His" child, and I want to change my vocabulary to reflect that and remind me of it.

My Lord is good!

Thursday, November 13, 2008



God, forgive me. I don’t know how to forgive.
What is forgiveness?

Not holding something against someone else;
letting offense go.

Not running from hurt,
or ignoring it,
or walling it out and hoping it will go away.

In spite of what people say,
Forgiving is not forgetting.

Forgiveness is not something you do one time, for one occurrence.
It is not something you do every once in a while.

There is a deliberate act of forgiving, with deliberate words,
but saying the words is not really what forgiveness is about.

Forgiveness is an attitude,
a state of mind,
a way of living life.

True forgiveness has a Devine quality about it.
There is something miraculous in it;
something in the heart of the forgiver changes,
and God, only You can change a heart.

Change mine.

Rebecca A Givens, 11/2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tsadhe - A Hebrew Prayer

Righteous are you, O LORD, and your laws are right.
The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy.
My zeal wears me out, for my enemies ignore your words.
Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.
Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.
Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.
Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live.

c Tsadhe Psalm 119:137-144

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Ineffective Life - Part 2

See Part 1 here.

For this reason make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. Ah, here we seem to be reading about something that we are responsible for. We are supposed to develop these qualities: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. Let’s take them in order, because I suspect they are in that order on purpose. Faith is what God gave us to allow us to believe in Him. Once I believe in Him I work on being good – goodness. OK, that makes sense. Once I desire to be good, I begin to do good things. Next I begin to acquire knowledge. How do I do that? By reading and studying scripture, by going to church and participating in Bible studies. And studying His Word teaches me how to be good and do good things, as well as increasing my faith in Him. Next is a difficult one: self-control. I must choose to do the right things. I must control my thoughts and my emotions and my body. I don’t believe this could happen if it wasn’t building on faith, goodness, and knowledge. Self-control takes practice and training, and it also takes the next thing on the list, perseverance. You cannot give up, you must persevere. As you practice self-control, you learn perseverance. Each of these areas in your life leads into the next area, at the same time strengthening the previous ones. Godliness has now begun to grow in your life; your life is showing signs of God’s influence and character. You are beginning to look like Him. Now we see brotherly kindness. As you have walked through this list, you will have begun to care about and think about other people. You must do this more and more. Ultimately you will begin to see others as God sees them, and you will love them as He loves them. You will understand more and more what God has done for you, and your love for God will grow exponentially. As will your faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and again, love. Do you see how each area leads into the next area and continues to reinforce the previous ones?

I think it is important to go back to the beginning here and point out that while we do deliberately put these qualities in our lives, we must rely on God’s power and strength to give them to us. Pray for God to give you each of the things on this list, to develop these character traits in you. Use His power, that’s what He is there for! He is not sitting there watching us live our lives on our own, He is intimately involved in living them through us!

The next sentence tells us why this was important. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. You see, it’s not enough to have knowledge of Jesus; there is such a thing as ineffective and unproductive knowledge. The whole list of qualities is important in leading a godly life. And if you don’t have this list in your life, either God’s not there at all or you have forgotten what God did for you. Go back to the beginning, to faith in Christ.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. No, this is not referring to losing your salvation. Making your calling and election sure means to prove it to yourself and to others. How do I know I am saved? By seeing the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. How do others know I am saved? By looking at the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in my life. I do not “know” I am saved because I walked down an aisle when I was a kid and “accepted Jesus in my heart.” Maybe I did and maybe I have been saved since then, but what did Jesus mean when He said that some will say at the judgement that they followed Christ but He knew them not? Can you think you are a believer when you are not? I think so. But if I see God’s divine power working these qualities in my life, I am sure the Holy Spirit is in me. And if I am working on these qualities in my life, I will not stumble or fall, and my spiritual life will be effective and productive; my knowledge will continue to grow not just in my head, but in my heart and in my hands as well.

Rebecca A Givens, 11/2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Conversion Diary: How would you know? - The diary of a former atheist

This is a link to a blog post that a friend sent me, and it is well worth your time.

Conversion Diary: How would you know? - The diary of a former atheist

I tried to copy and paste it all here, but the embedded pictures didn't make it through, and they are very important to the whole post. So click the link!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I am now reading in the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel was a prophet to the Israelites who had been taken into captivity in Babylon, but Jerusalem had not fallen for that last time yet. God did some strange things to Ezekiel. He had the dry bones prophecy. His wife died as an object lesson to the people. He laid on his side for 390 days. How strange is that? But he did what God asked him to. He prophesied against Israel, but also against Israel's attackers; lots and lots of those prophecies. We don't know what Ezekiel felt about what God had him do. Was he amazed? Afraid? Depressed? He was a man, so he must have felt these things. Yet he continued to do what God asked him to. I pray that I would be as solidly committed as he was.

This passage at the end of the dry bones prophecy has brought me much comfort over the years:

Ezekiel 37:11-14 - 11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "

I have often felt dried up and hopeless. But God promises me life!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Ineffective Life - part 1

Do you ever struggle in your Christian life? Do you get discouraged by your own sin nature? Do you feel ineffective and unproductive? This passage of scripture is for you.

II Peter 1:3-11 – His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this reason make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

There is an awful lot of stuff here, so let’s take it a piece at a time. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Here is the first key to living the Christian life successfully. God’s power is what gives us everything we need for life and godliness. How much power does God have? He created the universe! He created you and me! He undoubtedly has enough power to get us through this life, but we do not have the power on our own. So, it is God’s power that gives us what we need to live a godly life. But how does this work? According to this verse it is through our knowledge of Him. And what do we know about Him? Specifically here we know that He called us by His own glory and goodness. (of course we can know a whole lot more as we study Scripture) So God didn’t call us based on our own merit, and we can’t expect to live a godly life on our own merit either. Both these things come by God’s own glory and goodness. Thank God, I don’t seem to have much glory and goodness on my own.

Through these he has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. This sentence continues to expound the same theme. Through God’s glory and goodness He has given us His promises (again, we can know these as we study scripture), and through His promises we participate in a godly life, and that is how we can escape our own evil desires and the evil desires in the world around us. So far, we have God’s power and God’s promises leading us to a godly life.

More to come....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pe - A Hebrew Prayer

Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them.
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.
Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.
Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
Redeem me from the oppression of men, that I may obey your precepts.
Make your face shine upon your servant and teach me your decrees.
Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.

p Pe Psalm 119:129-136

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Heavenly Father,

If I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty,
make my heart prize thy love, know it, be constrained by it,
though I be denied all blessings.

It is thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants,
for by these trials I see my sins,
and desire severance from them.

Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations,
if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil,
and be delivered from it with gratitude to thee,
acknowledging this as the highest testimony of thy love.

When thy Son Jesus, came into my soul instead of sin
he became more dear to me than sin had formerly been;
his kindly rule replaced sin's tyranny.

Teach me to believe that if ever I would have any sin subdued
I must not only labour to overcome it,
but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it,
and he must become to me more than vile lust had been;
that his sweetness, power, life, may be there.

Thus I must seek a grace from him contrary to sin,
but must not claim it apart from himself.

When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me by showing me
that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch,
but in Christ I am reconciled and live;
that in myself I find insuffciency and no rest,
but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace;
that in myself I am feeble and unable to do good,
but in Christ I have ability to do all things.

Though now I have his graces in part,
I shall shortly have them perfectly
in that state where thou wilt show thyself fully reconciled,
and alone sufficient, efficient, loving me completely,
with sin abolished.

O Lord, hasten that day.

Taken from The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I would like to interupt this blog with the friendly reminder to


But before you vote, you need to PRAY!

After you vote, you need to PRAY!!

And please remember that whether your candidate wins or not,

God is still in control, and He still has a plan!!

After you vote you can run into your friendly neighborhood Starbucks, show them your vote sticker, and get a free coffee! Check out The Frugal Mom blog for details of this and other free stuff!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us. My family has been looking forward to November for a while... my youngest sat down early in October and began to list the menu for our Thanksgiving Feast! I do love Thanksgiving. Everyone pitches in to cook and we eat... no pressure, no presents, just fun together as a family. I think it must be my favorite holiday. As we launch into the Christmas season, don't let the hustle and bustle and spending $$ of it take away from your relationships with God or your family. Keep spending time in the Word and in prayer and with your family doing fun stuff.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November Bible Reading List

1 Matt. 20-21
2 Luke 18:15-19:48
3 Mark 11; John 12
4 Matt. 22; Mark 12
5 Matt. 23; Lk 20-21
6 Mark 13
7 Matt. 24
8 Matt. 25
9 Matt. 26; Mark 14
10 Luke 22; John 13
11 John 14-17
12 Matt. 27; Mark 15
13 Luke 23; John 18-19
14 Matt. 28; Mark 16
15 Luke 24; John 20-21
16 Acts 1-3
17 Acts 4-6
18 Acts 7-8
19 Acts 9-10
20 Acts 11-12
21 Acts 13-14
22 James 1-5
23 Acts 15-16
24 Gal. 1-3
25 Gal. 4-6
26 Acts 17-18:18
27 1 Thessalonians 1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1-3
28 Acts 18:19-19:41
29 1 Cor. 1-4
30 1 Cor. 5-8

Saturday, November 1, 2008


It's November, and that means the National Blog Posting Month challenge... Hard to believe it's been a whole year since I did this! The challenge is to post to your blog every day for the month of November. There are some prizes for randomly drawn blogs who have met the challenge, but even without the possibility of a prize it's always fun to set a goal and accomplish it. And 30 days makes a habit. The habit of posting to your blog every day is a good thing - especially for me on my blog, since it chronicles what God is teaching me! God certainly teaches me something every day; the problem is that it is not always something I want to publicly acknowledge! But I will certainly reveal what I can of my life.

If you want to take the challenge with me (and several 1000 others), you can click on the NaBloPoMo badge on the right side of this page.