Posts Tagged ‘Scripture Memory 2013’

2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 14!

Hey, Sweet Things!

 

I’m writing this post to you on Saturday night from the seat of a gigantic United Airlines plane on my connect flight from DC back to Houston. The Living Proof Live team and I had the tremendous privilege of serving in Providence, Rhode Island and God worked in such a distinct way that I will remember it for many years. I hope forever. God is doing something different this year at LPL. I don’t quite know how to define it but I have been flat-on-my-face grateful that He is not only still in it but stirring the pot. Not one of us on the team wants to be there a moment longer than Jesus is. We don’t even want Him to make an obligatory “appearance” because He loves us and feels sorry for us after we’ve scheduled all of this. We want the event to be proactively Jesus for His own sake and for His own glory and because it is a delight to Him and because He looks forward to it. Nothing less than that and, if it’s not that, we want Him to move us each elsewhere.

 

It’s so strange. We began this year looking back to the previous 15 but, by our 3rd event, it was like we all fixed our faces forward as if nothing in the world mattered but what was in front of us. No “yesterday’s plan.” No “yesterday’s work.” This is today. Something is up. Something new to us. There is something liberating and also a little frightening about just saying to Him, “Do what You want, God. Anything You want. We’re in it with You or we’re not in it at all. All bets are off.” Anyway, I’m not sure why I went off on all of that. God just really has my eyebrows high on my forehead right now wondering what He’s doing.

 

I have a group of about 30 of you Siestas fresh on my mind because we met up quickly after the event for our group picture. These were your northeastern sisters and the cutest things you can imagine. Well, just like all of you are. All ages and types, with this one glorious bond: the lively love of Jesus Christ. I am so crazy about you guys. I cannot fathom the grace of God to have stirred up a community of encouragement in Christ where relationships really do seem to have some substance to them. It’s an anomaly that still isn’t wasted on me.

 

You have marked my journey of faith. You’ve encouraged me and made me want to keep running my race energetically and earnestly. You’ve helped me get back up even at times when you didn’t know I was down. You have been a harbor of joy, peace, and laughter in an online Christian world that can be astonishingly fractured. You are a corner of courageous gentleness in a culture that has lost its manners.

 

And, good grief, you guys have impacted my Scripture memory life so dramatically that I hardly have words. After every Living Proof Live when we meet up for our (clandestine) Siesta picture, I always ask, “Will I be seeing any of you in January at our SSMT celebration?” Invariably there are those who answer with infectious enthusiasm, “YES!” It makes me so happy. The previous celebrations have been like a family reunion on steroids. I hope so much you’re staying up with your Scripture memory, saving your money, and planning to head to Houston that weekend. We aren’t really a beautiful city but we’re a happy one and a hospitable one, I believe I can confidently say. And we can offer you Tex Mex at virtually every four way stop. I mean, what more could you want, people?

 

The verse I’ve chosen this time around is one God seemed to lift from the page of my early morning Scripture reading last Monday. I continued to say it and pray it throughout the week and referenced it several times this weekend in Providence. It’s easy to memorize and it puts a concept in a nutshell that is as vital as breath to us in this believing life we’re living. Here it is:

 

Beth, Houston. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 1 Corinthians 4:20 NIV

 

God is using it to remind me that this thing isn’t about incessant chatter and nonstop Twitter noise and learning to speak fluent Christianese. It’s not tantamount to Bible banter and doctrinal debates and holy hair-splitting. It’s not about getting together at church and threatening week after week to live changed lives and think renewed thoughts. It’s not about getting all lathered up and sweaty-headed at events over theories of effective, influential, and abundant lives. This Christ thing to which we’ve been called is about actually doing it and through an unction not remotely our own.

 

When the Holy Spirit comes, He comes with power.

 

Where the Holy Spirit goes, He goes with power.

 

Whom the Holy Spirit infiltrates, He infuses with power.

 

Our lives were meant to be powerful. Less talk. More demonstration. Through things like a love that we know good and well is utterly beyond us and a faith that emerges in tact from a minefield soaked in blood and strewn with flesh. We were meant to be able to do what we can’t, like who we don’t, bless who we’d curse. We were promised strength in weakness and extravagant grace in our deprivation.

 

We were meant to wonder what has derailed or gone awry when a season of our lives persists in powerlessness for weeks on end. We were promised more than this. We’re not meant to write our own personalized chapters in a revised standard version of The Emperor’s New Clothes so the world could have a harder laugh at us. We who have placed our trust in Christ Jesus, the living, breathing-on-us Son of God, have been clothed with power from on high. (Luke 24:49) And it’s supposed to show.

 

Every limb of our lives where we welcome the Holy Spirit can be infused with strength not of this world and, yes, even in continued weakness or infirmity, should that be the case of our present calling. The coexistence of the two is the mystery of it. We’re not superwomen. We’re a long shot from perfect. But we were meant to be vividly powerful through the One who saved us and made Himself at home in us. Let’s not forget that today. Let’s not be satisfied just to talk about it. Let’s not just clap and cheer during that part of a service when a pastor or teacher tells us we’re called more than conquerors. The New Testament is not the theory of Christianity.

You may feel powerless right now, Sister, but, if you are in Christ, make no mistake: you are not. Get some backbone back in your prayer life if your spiritual spine has deteriorated. With reverence for His holiness and with the boldness He said we could bring to the Throne of Grace, read to God from His Word where He promised His people victory as they looked to Him alone…

…and where He promised to clothe us in power

…and where He said He’d make Himself conspicuous through our spiritual gifts and through supernatural works in His Name.

If you don’t know where those places are, go hunt them down. (But you could start in Romans 8, Luke 24, Acts 1, Acts 2, 1 Corinthians 12 and Hebrews 4.)

Tell Him you’re going to ask for it and ask for it and ask for it in His great Name and for His glory until He gives it to you and frees you from whatever this present powerlessness is. And then DO IT. Ask and ask and ask and tell Him you will do whatever it takes to cooperate and mean it! Throw your hands out to receive. And, then, when He gives it – and He will – don’t take credit for it. Appreciate it. Thank Him and thank Him for it. Know that it’s grace. Use it audaciously to bring Him attention.

 

Sister, you cannot fulfill your foreordained purpose without power. Go back after it but, whatever you do, don’t try to get it without Jesus coming with it. Power for power’s sake will blow you up. God-given unction isn’t meant to just come and go with periodic personal revival. We were meant to live powerful lives. Let’s get to them. If you’ve got an area of carnality that is quenching it, I promise you it’s not worth it. Believe me, I’ve been there. Repent, turn from it and get on with it. You’ve got a calling. And it takes divine power.

 

You mean so much to me. Hold tight to Jesus.

 

 

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 13!

Hey, Everybody!

I am writing to you on Sunday afternoon since this post needs to go up first thing Monday morning and I am typing away on my laptop from Jackson and Annabeth’s room in our home. It’s the room where Keith and I get the best internet hookup. I like it anyway because it is filled with expressions of the only two kids on the earth I love as much as the two that I birthed. From Annabeth’s twin bed where I’m sitting, I can see a pink and green doll house, a blue and yellow race track, a dark green, fairly-convincing rubber lizard, a kids’ brightly colored exercise bike, a cardboard playhouse and a cardboard castle. It’s full on here in this room and, boy, has it had a work out in the last week.

Keith and I are blessed out of our minds to do lots of life with our grandkids because they only live about 20 minutes from our front door. Delightfully, their voices often reverberate off of these walls and their sweet feet are slap-happy on these wooden floors on a regular basis. We get to have sleepovers on occasions through out the year but once every summer Keith and I have them for the better part of a week and let their darling parents get some time together all by themselves. This last week was that segment of time – Camp Bibby we call it – for the summer of 2013. We kissed them goodbye on Friday night after a good, solid 5-day dose of them. I hate to admit to a small lump in my throat when they drove off with Amanda and Curtis, although I needed a nap in the worst way. Grin. It may be of some encouragement to you mothers of young children that, on Day 1, I did not shower until 3:00 PM. Yes, I do indeed remember what it was like to be a busy young mom whose life is not her own and when I forget, my two sweeties help me remember. Good grief, I would not trade them for anything in this world.

We do not have the time or space here for all the new quotes that have been added to my repertoire in the last week. Jackson and Annabeth are each hilarious, even when they don’t mean to be, so I try to have a pen nearby at all times. Annabeth announced to me on Friday afternoon that, when she grows up, she most definitely does NOT want to have a baby. “Why not?” I asked. “Because you have to go to the hospital,” she replied. And I thought to myself, whoa baby, that’s not all you have to do. As my mama always said, you also have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Translation: you think you’re going to die but, ordinarily, you do not, although at times your husband could be in considerable harm’s way if he spouts another word. Of course, I kept these thoughts to myself.

Annabeth paused for just a moment then spoke back up. “I just want a chihuahua and a cat.”

And that was that.

Jackson asked me how old I was while he was here because I recently had a birthday. He’s asked me that kind of thing before and it always ends up following the trail of whether or not I will still be his Bibby when he is in college. Curtis’s grandmother died a couple of years ago and I think he’s got it in his seven year-old head that grandmothers are tenuous creatures, here today, gone tomorrow. So, I said to him, “You know, Jackson, both your grandmothers are actually pretty young to have a grandkid as old as you. Because we all started so early, I think you can probably assume we’ll be around a while and see you grow up.” He sat on that a few moments then said, “Bibby, that makes you a rookie grandma. Do you know what a rookie is, Bibby?” Ah, yes, I do, Mister. I was a rookie mom with your mommy and a rookie grandma with you and I cannot think of two people on the planet through whom I’d rather be cast into those auspicious, busy, and often humbling roles.

I guess you’re wondering what all of this has to do with our Scripture memory. Well, I am getting to that right now. We have a daily verse at Camp Bibby and Psalm 32:9 out of the New Century Bible was our verse for Day 3 and the immediate favorite and clear winner for the fastest memorization. I taught the whole verse to Annabeth and Jackson but we only memorized part of it. Perhaps you will see why Jackson all but claimed it as his life verse. Kids totally love this kind of thing:

“Don’t be like a…donkey.” Psalm 32:9a

It made them almost as happy as talking about bathroom sounds. If I heard this verse once out of their mouths since Wednesday, I heard it 50 times. They could tell you what it means, too. I’ll stick the phrase back in the wider Scripture segment so that you’ll know what it means, too:
8       The LORD says, “I will make you wise and show you where to go. I will guide you and watch over you.
9       So don’t be like a horse or donkey, that doesn’t understand. They must be led with bits and reins,
or they will not come near you.”

Jackson would tell you that it means that God doesn’t want to have to tie us all up, or sit on us, or be all hard on us to get us to come to Him and to walk in His gracious and good will for our lives. He doesn’t want to have to make us obey Him so He can bless us. His deep desire is that we’d want to go with Him because we know that He is always for us, always leading us to triumph, always trustworthy, always right, and forever wanting to crown us with love and compassion and lead us away from bondage and such unnecessary harm.

I know it’s basic. But my mind’s been on the basics this last week with a seven year-old and a four year-old either one foot from me or on my person. I guess the question I’m throwing out on the table this week is this: Why do we continue to fight God and lash about in His grasp like He’s a big Taker instead of a Giver? What is it we think He’s trying to rob us of? To whom have we compared Him so that we’ve assumed we cannot trust Him?

Don’t be so stubborn, the psalmist is saying. Cooperate and go with God some place beautiful. Some place almost magical.

Revel in the two preceding verses in the same psalm (32), this time from the NIV:
6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to You
while You may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place;
You will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Surround sound. Oh, if our spiritual ears could only be opened for a few glorious minutes, what a musical score we’d hear all around us. To go with Jesus is to go the way of deliverance. The way of music. The way of symphonies.  The way of ascent amid mighty rising waters. So, I’m going with Jackson in my memory work this round:

 

Beth, Houston. So don’t be like a horse or donkey, that doesn’t understand. They must be led with bits and reins, or they will not come near you. Psalm 32:9 NCV
So, what’s yours?

 

You are loved around here, Sister. We are honored to serve you.

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 12!

Hey Sweet Things! I’m putting this post up an evening early so I don’t have to be up and working at 7:00 AM on a Saturday morning off. Smiling. Thank you for understanding! Don’t stress if the comments aren’t moderated right away. We take it a little slower on weekends so nobody’s working nonstop.

 

I wish I had a way to add some great celebratory music to this post. You are officially halfway! Doesn’t that feel fabulous? Oh, come on, now. Let yourself feel it. Great job, Sisters! It’s not easy. We know we can do the second half because we have already done the first.  And we’ll do this next half exactly the same way: through the unction of the Holy Spirit. Just keep choosing Scriptures that are speaking to you in your exact season and need and they’ll come alive in the marrow of your bones.

 

I feel like I’ve been talking to you all day because I think of you while writing the lessons for the Bible study underway. We have hashed some things out in the Scriptures today, Sister. You just couldn’t hear them. I’ll just be glad when some of you are sitting on the other side of that page talking back. When I was at the taping for Children of the Day in May, we explained to the group that it would be a whole calendar year before the study comes out. The process takes a long time, especially because it involves both written work and video. We also have to dodge around a travel schedule that is set in calendar-stone a good bit in advance. But, in the twinkling of an eye, another month has already passed. The very last of the manuscript is due in December so you’ll not waste a prayer on me between now and then. I don’t get to write every week because I am on the road more often this time of year so each day I get to sit with my Bible open to 1st and 2nd Thessalonians is a gift. And a brain cracker at times.

 

You and I have plenty to do before next May, however! I so hope many of you are doing the Gideon Bible study this summer with us that our gifted sister, Priscilla Shirer wrote. It’s tremendously powerful. I saw one of you give her a shout-out today on Twitter with the hashtag #Siestaville at the end of it. It made me so happy. God has graced us with such anointed messengers at this hour in the Body of Christ, men and women alike. Hasn’t He? It has been my privilege to study under a number of them with you and to hear about many others from you. Our discipleship worlds are so much bigger when we’re willing to come together. Otherwise, we sit tight in all our own little corners and have no idea how many people God has gifted to serve the Body. We cheat ourselves when we separate ourselves.

 

OK, Sisters, are you ready to log in your 12th verses? I’m choosing mine from a sermon Curtis’s good friend, Jerrell Altic, brought in Curtis’s absence last Sunday at our church. His primary text was Mark 1 but he tied in a verse that really jumped out at me. I love the Book of Philemon and have taught out of it several times in the last two years but that’s the beauty of living words. A Scripture will suddenly pop off the page that had somehow been veiled from our recognition before. I’d been so taken with phrases like “yet for love’s sake” in verse 9 that I’d missed the treasure of V.6, and who couldn’t get distracted by a verse like the 15th? “For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever.”  I bet some of you have a pretty slack-jawing testimony of that very concept under your own roof.

 

But when Jerrell referenced this verse, I knew it was my choice for our 12th round of SSMT. In fact, don’t tell but I jotted it immediately on the yellow notes app of my iPhone, took a screen shot and made it my screen saver right then. Sometimes a “now” word is like RIGHT NOW. Here it goes:

 

 

Beth, Houston. “I pray that the faith you share with us may deepen your understanding of every blessing that belongs to you in Christ.” Philemon 1:6 The NET Bible

 

I want God to deepen my understanding of every blessing that belongs to me in Christ while I’m here plowing into some stubborn earthly soil with sweat sopping my forehead. Don’t you? I’m so thankful to be blessed but wouldn’t fleshing it out be a whole different prospect if we came to understand the depth and breadth of many of those blessings? To stand on them, act on them, pray from them, teach from them, love from them, and serve through them? Now we’re talking.

 

Colossians 2:2-3 gives a glimpse into the grandeur involved as the Apostle Paul prays “that their (and our) hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

 

Look at that again: “the riches of full assurance of understanding.” We can’t soon wrap our minds around all that encompasses but we can instantly and actively start praying for God to deepen our understanding of the blessings that belongs to us in the One who embodies every divine and hidden treasure.

 

I’m making these prayers mine and I am looking for God to answer them. He wouldn’t dictate a prayer right there on the pages of the New Testament that He had no intention of responding to.

 

I love working through some verses and concepts with you, Sisters. You are so dear to me. Thank you for spending a little time around here and committing to something challenging in the midst of many priorities. I pray that every part of your life is invaded by the Word of God coursing through your brain. May God bring your harvest forth 100-fold.

 

It’s your turn, Sisters! Give me a hint about what Christ is doing in you right now through the selections of your verses. You are so loved.

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 11!

Hey, Everybody! I am jotting this post several days in advance because I’ll be at a Living Proof Live in Atlanta, Georgia the day this goes up. In fact, if you read this before 11:15 CST (12:15 Atlanta time) on Saturday, we’d be incredibly blessed if you’d pray for our remaining time to be so flooded with the presence of God that we can hardly bear the glory.

I’m so proud of you for making it this far in our Scripture memory process! Sisters, you have worked hard. Let yourself feel the holy nod of God. He has tremendous joy in seeing His children esteem His Word highly enough to store it like treasures in the vault of their hearts. We’ve arrived at a milestone of sorts in this journey. June is tremendously significant for our team because this is the month we come to the halfway marker. Once we get into July and August we have less memorization in front of us than we have behind us. That’s a big deal.

This time around I’m choosing a verse that I’ll be challenging the attendees to memorize at the Atlanta Living Proof Live. I’m not sure a verse could be more fitting for the pure act of praise. I love Scriptures that not only speak about God but speak straight to God. Get a load of this one:

Beth, Houston. O Lord, You are great, mighty, majestic, magnificent, glorious, and sovereign over all the sky and earth!  You have dominion and exalt Yourself as the ruler of all. 1 Chronicles 29:11  The NET Bible

Any of us who memorize a fair amount of Scripture have certain go-to approaches that have helped us along. If you’ve got a method that is working, by all means, go with it! But, if you’re interested in memorizing the same verse and would like some suggestions about how to tackle it, I’ll share what works for me. Keep in mind that the methods of Blonder Than She Pays To Be could be madness to someone else so take this or leave it depending on your learning style.

With any verse, I start looking almost immediately for how I can reason out the word order. The first thing I’m going to notice in 1 Chronicles 29:11 is that there are 6 rapid-fire descriptions of God in the first sentence. In this verse, I’d reason that it’s fitting  for the word “great” to be first among the descriptions because many of us are accustomed to using the terminology that God (or the Lord, in this case) is great. It’s an easy, accessible word. The next three descriptions all begin with “M”: mighty, majestic, magnificent. As I prepare for Atlanta, I’ll be saying those three words over and over in that order so that they’ll get ingrained in my thinking. They have an amplifying rhythm to them, too, because the first one (mighty) is two syllables, the second one (majestic) is three syllables, and the third one (magnificent) is four syllables. Does that help at all with the word order and how they roll off your tongue? Say them until you feel the syllables build and you might latch onto them pretty quickly.

After the beginning “G” (great) and the 3 “M’s”, we have another “G.” This time it stands for “glorious.” That’s a word I love to say so I’m hoping I can remember it pretty easily. G-M-M-M-G. Are you beginning to catch on? (I think I just heard somebody yell “NO!” Was that you?? I tried to warn you that I can make things harder than they have to be. Laughing. You might need to be the one telling your sisters here how to tackle a wordy verse. Just give me an “E” for effort here and maybe an “A” for affection. I do so seriously love you.)

The last of the 6 descriptions is “sovereign.” To me, that’s always the final word on anything that has to do with God. If I’m confused or I can’t fit in my brain why this happened or why God approached a particular thing a particular way, I finally come to a measure of peace by stating this biblical truth: He is sovereign over all things. In the exact words of 1 Chronicles 29:11, “over all the sky and earth.” I love visual language and that, Sister, is plenty visual. Span the galaxies in the universe with your imagination then put your scope on our planet and zero in. (I know I’m really pushing it right now with some of you but the way I’d keep it straight that “sky” comes before “earth” is that it starts with an “S” like “sovereign” right before it. If I’m getting on your last nerve, never mind.)

Then put the finishing touches on the verse with this: You have dominion and exalt Yourself as the ruler of all!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not expecting that we’d have it down pat in the brief amount of time it’s taken us to walk through those few paragraphs but what about 15 days? That’s how long we’d have to get those words steeped into our souls. Could we get them down over the course of two weeks? Yes, ma’am, I do believe we can! And, if not word-for-word, just think how much we’ve meditated on descriptions of our God! That is time NEVER wasted. Let’s ask God to give us the supernatural unction to accomplish this memorization and remind Him how much glory He could receive from our being able to extol His preeminence like that over and over while we’re…

praying…

driving…

walking through our neighborhoods…

on our treadmills…

rocking our babies…

getting chemotherapy…

getting physical therapy…

sitting with an elderly loved one…

healing from a heartbreak…

or so happy that we need some way to tell Him how marvelous we think He is before we burst.

Of course, most of you have your own Scripture selections and I have just put you through the wringer for nothing! So, whether you’re sharing 1 Chronicles 29:11 or bringing your own verse to the table, let’s see them! I’m blessed almost out of my bleached blond mind to get to do this with you, Sister. You are a tremendous joy to me.

 

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 10!

Hey girls! Lindsee here! By now you know that our dear Beth is teaching her heart out this week, taping her next Bible study in Tennessee. So, when I realized that SSMT would fall right smack dab in the middle of the taping, I told her that if she trusted me, she was welcome to release this to me and I’d try to do it as much justice as she does. She happily obliged, so here I am. What makes it easy is that I’m memorizing right alongside y’all, however, this time around I feel the pressure to make it a good verse. Of course, I’m both kidding and laughing.

Actually, my scripture memory verses don’t always come easy to me, but this week was a different story. You see, this past Sunday at church was an all hymn Sunday. Typically we’re a little more contemporary and certainly throw in a hymn every now and then, but this Sunday every last song was one you could find in a hymnal. Truth be told, I kind of loved it.

Among the selection of hymns, we sang “I’d Rather Have Jesus”. I’m not sure if you’ve listened to those lyrics lately, but what a convicting song it is and rather vulnerable if you ask me.

You tell me:

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.

Than to be the king of a vast domain

And be held in sin’s dread sway;

I’d rather have Jesus than anything

This world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;

I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;

I’d rather be true to His holy name

Whoa. I’d Rather. What is your rather? What do you want so bad, but you’d rather have Jesus? I could name countless things. But really, what rubbish each of those things are compared to knowing Jesus as my personal Lord and savior. What rubbish they are compared to being known and loved perfectly by Jesus himself, who gave His life for you and didn’t expect anything in return, lest we even think we have anything to offer in return. I know it in my head, but I want to fully grasp it in my heart.

That led me to Phillipians 3:8, which is my scripture this go around:

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8 (NLT)

Isn’t is so true, that the more time we spend getting to know our Jesus, the more the things of this world grow strangely dim? I think it is true. The more I learn that Jesus is the ONE faithful and trustworthy thing, the less I worry about worldwide fame, men’s applause, riches or anything else my flesh cringes for.

Jesus is simply better.

Have I achieved it? Hardly.

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.” Philippians 3:12

But I press on. I put my focus on one solitary thing.

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Philippians 3:13

Because after all…

“He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.”

Jesus is better. Let’s hear yours! (And that’s three options for you, ladies! Should you choose to use one of those. Grin.)

On a not-so-different, yet different note, our sweet siesta mama did just tell me to tell y’all, “I love them so much and feel their prayers and to keep them up!”

Oh, and one more fun and important thing, be sure to hop back on tomorrow (Thursday) for the announcement of our summer Bible study! The suspense!

Y’all are priceless.

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 9!

Hey, Everybody!

I’m so happy to spend these next few minutes with you. I like to remind you in a writing season like this that I am thinking about you constantly even when it appears from your side of the screen as if we’re less in touch. As I study and write workday in and workday out, you are the first group that comes to my mind. Teacher’s pets if I’ve ever had any.  I’m chatting to you constantly right now as I peck away at the keyboard. You just can’t hear me. I’m smiling thinking about how those tables may turn in a little over a year for any of you that end up doing the Bible study. You’ll be talking back to me as we discuss various passages in your homework but I won’t be able to hear you either. What a weird and beautiful dynamic.

I had the biggest blast getting to see a whole bunch of you Siestas at our Eugene, Oregon Living Proof Live. I was shocked when I walked in that room right after the event and David Lowe (our good friend who subs for Rich when he’s out) already had you split into two groups for our picture-taking. It would be hard to over-blow how much I loved being in Oregon for our event. God brought together one of the most wonderful, enthusiastic, Jesus-seeking, gonna-get-a-word-or-else groups ever. One of my top ten favorite groups in all fifteen LPL years. I could have cried when it was over.

(I just happened to remember that I have a few pictures on my iPhone of various shots from this trip so I’ll pitch a few in here for those of you like me who love visuals.)

(In the above picture, we took that State-famous “O” for Oregon and made it into a few divine adjectives for an “Omnipotent,” and “Overflowing,” “Overcoming” and “Out-breaking” God.)

Try to wrap your mind around the fact that God incited 7300 women by His Spirit to attend that event. That was nearly twice what we would have expected in that part of the United States for a gathering of this kind. Travis, the praise team, and I knew within about 2 minutes that Jesus was planning to be there whether we came or not. We felt completely incidental to the whole thing. He has something huge stirring in the Northwest. I can’t quit thinking about it. I got a DM from my good friend, Louie Giglio, last Friday saying that he and Chris Tomlin and their team had just been to that part of the country and were blown away by what God was doing. We left feeling the same astonishment.

I got to spend a little more time in the area than I usually do because I couldn’t get a flight out on Saturday night. That meant several walks in several different parks.

This scene was walking distance from the Holiday Express where we stayed in Eugene. Your blog mama is in there but it’s kind of like “Where’s Waldo?”

Most of our team went to Mount Pisgah Arboretum on Saturday afternoon and, honestly, it was like we were caught in the hobbits’ glen in Lord of the Rings. If Frodo Baggins had stepped out from behind a tree with his short legs and long hairy feet, the whole scene would have been complete. The trees looked just like the ones that talked in the trilogy and they groaned and creaked in the wind like old men trying to get out of a low chair. It was crazy.  I didn’t even bother taking pictures with my iPhone because it would have been a travesty but our friend David got some great ones with his grown-up camera. This one doesn’t even give a hint of the gorgeousness that was surrounding us in that park but I think it is especially gorgeous because I love this group of women so much. These are some of the hardest working girls you’ll ever find on earth. They are part of the LifeWay women’s event team that actually puts on Living Proof Live events. (As well as Priscilla Shirer Live and many others.) They don’t often come to the platform but trust me when I tell you that no one would serve on that platform if not for these women doing all the front work, sight inspections, training, praying, and city coordinating. Then, once the weekend arrives, they are busy behind every scene, down every hall, and all over the arena. I am nuts about them. There are at least a dozen others who weren’t assigned to our Oregon event over the weekend. I wish you could see them, too. They are all stellar women.

I could have stayed a solid week in Oregon. Or, if all my people had been there, a month. But Bibby gets cranky for the grandbabies after too many days away. I saw them right before I left for Oregon and the day after I got back. Thank you, thank you, thank you to my beloved Amanda and Curtis, who always make room for the grandparents in their hyper-busy pastoring lives. I happen to be typing this post about five feet away from this picture right here. Now, I ask you, who could stand to be far from those two for very long?? My point exactly.

Oh, one more thing about the trip. On the rare occasions when much of the team gets to stay an extra night after the event, there is considerable foolishness. With God-fearing people, especially of mixed company, off-color humor is out so we have to go with just plain stupid and it works for me every time. This is Travis with his good friends Clay (who played the mandolin for us at this LPL! We loved him!) and Seth (who we always love and get to have on the team most of the time).

I bet Travis wore those glasses for 15 minutes in the drugstore. (Yep, that’s where all this stuff was.) Long enough to where I found myself talking to him normally as if he didn’t look like an idiot. Of course, it might be a tad hypocritical for me to say he looked like such a thing since…

 

Tragically, that’s not plastic you’re seeing there below the glasses. That’s my real nose. (I made myself laugh.)

Well, I could talk on and on but, the fact is, we have Scriptures to do today, Sisters! I love mine this time around. Remember how we talked about the importance of choosing one to memorize that really means something to us personally? This one’s really speaking to me right now. Lately I’ve been especially aware of the contrasts in the Christian public square between those who build up the Body of Christ and those who tear it down. If we’re going to be builders in a world tearing apart, we’re going to have to be deliberate. We’ll also have to accept the materials we’re working with. We’ll never have a flawless body of believers to edify. Not this side of our completed state. As my friend Carlos Whittaker says, we’re all crazier than we think we are. It’s a mess out there. Oh, for crying out loud, I’m a mess in here. But we do have a flawless Savior and we are indeed God’s chosen people, loved and planned for and accounted for in the Kingdom agenda. We’ve got to decide how we want to treat one another on this thorny journey. This verse says it well.

Beth, Houston. So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12 ESV

There He says it: don’t just take a stab at it. Strive to excel in it.

 

Oh, Sisters, I love you so much. I truly do. I’ll talk to you soon!

 

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 8!

Hey, my beloved Siestas!

I am writing you from a bumpy altitude of about 28,000 feet on my way home from the Greensboro, North Carolina Living Proof Live. It’s Sunday early afternoon, a day later than I was scheduled to fly out. When I checked in at the United Airlines’ desk in Greensboro, a screen popped up saying that my itinerary had been altered and asked if I wanted to proceed. I reviewed the itinerary carefully on the screen and compared it to my schedule and could not for the life of me tell any difference. I shrugged my shoulders and carried on with my check-in and never gave it a second thought.

 

I got to Washington DC for my layover and looked at the screen in the bustling corridor for the gate number to my 5:10 PM flight and that’s when I saw it. My flight was so delayed out of Honolulu (seriously?? straight to DC??) that our earliest departure would be 11:00 PM that night and, best-case-scenario, would land us in Houston at 1:30 AM. That translates to a final home-getting out in the sticks where I live at about 2:45 AM. Hmmm. When I checked at the customer service desk to see if there had been any update on the schedule, the attendant confirmed the bad news as delicately as she could and added that the flight was at risk of cancellation and that, if she were me, she’d switch to a flight the next day and run for my life to a hotel. Otherwise I could get stranded in the middle of the night with no plan. So, that’s what I did. My dear and most excellent assistant, K-Mac, hopped on her computer at home in Houston and started finding me a hotel room nearby while I stood in another line to book this flight and waited for the next 2 hours in baggage claim for them to find my suitcase.

 

It all sounds worse than it was because Jesus stayed so near me. Typing those words, I could almost cry. He is so gracious. I’ll get to more of that in just a moment. I tried to call my man a couple of times before I made a final decision but couldn’t reach him. I hated the thought that I was going to cancel out of that flight and come home the next day without even letting him know in advance. When you’ve been married as long as we have, a few days pass and it just doesn’t feel right not to be back together. I started to say, “When you’ve been married as long as we have, you get used to one another,” but I said that not long ago to Keith and he looked at me glibly and said, “Lizabeth, I’m used to my underwear. I love my wife. That’s why I want to be with her.” And it made me laugh.

 

The older we get, I sometimes have the quickest shot of panic go through me when I say bye to him. It’s only on occasion. The rest of the time I keep my wits better about me. But sometimes before I walk out the door I touch his tan face, lined handsomely by the years and Texas sunshine, and I permit myself the moment’s agony, “What if I never saw this face again??” Ugh. Even now that wells a lump in my throat. I know I’ll see him again in heaven and throughout eternity but he’ll have his immortal body and not the one I helped heap a considerable amount of age on. And he’ll be my brother and not my husband.

 

That’s kind of a game changer.

 

I left Keith a few voice mails but had been in baggage claim a while after making the final decision when he called me back. Of course, he gave me his blessing and said he’d never want me in a car in Houston after midnight and out to the country at 2:30 in the morning if we could ever help it. I knew he’d say that but I also knew we’d miss each other that next Sunday morning.

 

“And now,” Keith said, “I don’t even have to feel guilty about going to a sporting clay shoot tomorrow.” That right there is vintage Keith.

 

“Honey, you still could have gone.”

 

“Oh, I know, Sweets,” he said, “I was going to go but I’d have to have felt guilty about it.”

 

I laughed. Just when I’m feeling all gushy about him, we get a fresh reminder that he and I are still mostly oil and vinegar (not saying which is which because that depends on the day) but at least we like being bottled up together. Yep. Almost all the time these days.

 

God was so good to us in Greensboro and so spared us the strivings of the flesh with the fullness of His Spirit that I very much did not want to get a bad attitude about the flight drama and 2-hour suitcase search. I also knew that, once I told Sabrina and K-Mac that I was stuck, they were liable to shake their heads as the wonderful, responsible coworkers they are and think again that it’s not the best idea for me to go alone. This is a loving discussion (from all sides) that comes back to the table again and again. They are so dear to me. I have no idea what I’d do without them. The thing is, I love traveling alone. It tends to offer me the strongest sense of Christ’s presence and often seems to amplify His voice to me about the message. But it can on occasion have a challenging side.

 

This was not really one of them. I laugh every now and then with Sabrina that no matter who she could send with me, I’d have more travel experience than any helper would by about 20 years. I say that laughing. At this point, I am fairly well versed in the airline drill as much as a civilian can be. And I truly do love to fly the friendly skies. Our compromise is that I go alone on a LifeWay event (like Living Proof Live) because they have an incredibly good and familiar system once I land in that city but that, if I’m heading to any other event, I take an assistant. Of course, all that is more than you want to know but I am stuck on this long plane ride and in the mood to talk to somebody. And you’re the one stuck with me.

 

About an hour and 45 minutes into the wait in baggage claim, I did almost feel like crying for a split second because I’m so completely drained after an LPL and couldn’t yet see rest in sight. I texted Amanda and Melissa and asked them to press in and pray a smile on my face a bit longer. They did.

 

And I ended up getting more than a smile. Right after that, the United agent in baggage claim told me they’d finally found the suitcase and it would be down in 15 minutes. It was. I cheered when I saw it, both fists in the air, and the agent grinned.

 

By the time I got to the curb, I’d missed the hotel shuttle by a few minutes and would have to wait another thirty minutes for the next one. I grabbed a cab instead. After checking into the hotel (at a good rate, thank you, Expedia.com), I took the elevator to the fifth floor, and began wheeling my cute, light blue briefcase and big ole suitcase down the hall. That’s when I got tickled. Out loud. I may have even bent over laughing. Our subject matter in Greensboro had revolved strongly around increasing our time in the “secret place” with Jesus. I had told them that I was exhilarated by the challenge and could not wait to get started into a deeper secrecy with Him. Let me just say, Jesus took me up on it.  Immediately. I had all evening with Him then all the next morning with Him. Just the two of us. We ate dinner together. Well, we sat at the same table is what I mean. I think He was fasting. But He was fine company indeed.

 

 

(That’s gorgonzola on that beef medallion and the sides are fresh spinach and fried polenta. It was fabulous, especially because I was really hungry.)

 

I missed Bayou City Fellowship and my brothers and sisters at church so much this morning but, thanks to podcasts, got to have my own church service right there in the hotel room. With Jesus. By myself.

 

Then I got on this plane, got into the air, put my headphones on and listened to “Crown Him with Many Crowns” (the Chris Tomlin, and Kari Jobe remix on the Burning Lights CD) and cried over the pure awesomeness of this One who saved us by His own blood. It’s always awkward to cry on a plane with a stranger in the next seat touching elbows with you. I opened to the Book of Revelation in my red soft leather Bible and read the passages about crowns cast at His feet and crowns placed upon His head.

 

Revelation 4:9-11…

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who is seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

                11         “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

                        for You created all things,

and by Your will they existed and were created.”

 

 

Revelation 19:11-14…

 

 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written that no one knows but Himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses.

 

The words kept echoing, “Worthy are You!”

 

It’s almost more than my heart can bear. Amid the brevity of this vaporous earthly life, we will all soon see the face of the One who is so worthy of our worship and the priority affections of our hearts and the focused attentions of our minds. The One worthy of our faith when we cannot see our way.  Worthy of our taking the way of escape when temptation beckons us into a whirlpool. The One worthy of gracing others because He has forgiven us at so high a price. The One worthy of counting on when the world calls us fools. The One worthy of taking at His glorious Word.

 

Don’t you on occasion find it slack-jawing astonishing that this same Jesus seeks us out and wants to be with us? It’s happened to you just like it’s happened to me. If you’ve known Him long, you’ve unexpectedly found yourself alone and lonely only to realize that He has temporarily isolated you just to be with you. And you realize you’ve never been less alone in your life.

 

Most of the time I accept the thought of His pursuit of us with genuine appreciation but with a certain amount of familiarity. I’ve read it enough in Scripture to believe it and receive it and want it in the worst way and enough to feel weird and worried if I go too long without sensing it. Other times, I’m thrown facedown over the wonder of it. I’m there right now. All of us in this community get why we should yearn and press past every obstacle to get to a place alone with Jesus but, seriously, why on earth would He yearn to do the same with humans? It’s just too much to wrap my mind around sometimes.

 

“He yearns jealously over the spirit that He has made to dwell in us.” James 4:5

 

Sister, Jesus is hemming you in. If He’s backed you into a corner, it’s not to isolate you but to freshly exhilarate you. He loves you. He’s seeking you out. Slow down and let yourself be caught by this holy jealous-for-you love that will not let you go. We are not just tolerated. We didn’t make it in by the skin of our teeth. We have been planned for and pursued. We are the deep desire of Someone’s heart.

 

Did you think I’d forgotten why we’re on here today? Smiling.

 

Nope. It’s just taken me a while to hash out my selection this time around. I know we’re supposed to stick mostly to one verse each 2-week period but I just can’t help myself. Some things can’t be sliced up with a knife and fork and taste the same way on a tongue.

 

Beth, Houston. 3 When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.  You have given him dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet. Psalm 8:3-6 ESV

 

You, Lord, YOU crowned us??? What were You thinking?? You have multiplied, O Lord my God, Your wondrous deeds and Your thoughts toward us; none can compare with You!” Psalm 40:5

 

Jesus, we long for the day when You will split the sky like the veil before the Holy of Holies and bound through the heavens on horseback, Your crimson robe whipping in the wind behind You. Every eye will see Your glorious face. And on Your head will be many diadems.

 

Crown Him with many crowns.

 

Awake, my soul, and sing.

 

Let’s have those verses, you Scripture-memorizing women of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 7!

Hey, Everyone!

Praise God, He is still risen on Monday! I trust that your Resurrection Sunday was so full of Jesus. This was our second Easter as a church at Bayou City Fellowship and all of our services were filled to the brim, not only with people but also with hope. I love this time of year so much. I cannot think of anything in existence that exceeds the implications of the empty tomb: not the heavens above you, not the earth beneath your feet, not a single school or workplace, nor the blackest heart or most broken mind. No power nor principality can roll that stone back over the mouth of that tomb. Come one, come all. Come while there is still time. Come to Jesus.

 

I only have a few minutes on here today because Jackson and Annabeth are at my house, each playing within feet of me. (Right where I want them, needless to say.) Annabeth just put her baby doll in my lap and said, “Bibby, you need to change her diaper. She pottied in her pants.” So, there you go. As much as I’d like to linger on here with you today, obviously this is not the time. Diapers need changing around this place.

 

In the meantime, you and I have arrived at Verse 7! Our Scripture memory year is rolling like a freight train. We’re starting to flip those spirals now, Sisters! Don’t you grow weary. We have a lot ahead to celebrate! In case you like seasonal verses, these might be a few options this time around. (I’m grinning while writing these but if there’s anything we don’t want to be, Sister, it’s the Old Testament’s take on a  fool. Today or ever.)

Psalm 14:1 —  The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

and

Proverbs 12:15 — The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

and

Proverbs 29:11 — A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

 

Then again, the New Testament gives a whole new twist to the idea of foolishness. This is the verse I’m selecting this time around.

 

Beth, Houston. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:27 ESV

And that’s the only reason I have the privilege to serve you.

Merciful One, You turned the world upside down.

 

Let’s hear your 7th verses, Sisters!

 

 

 

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 6!

Hey, all of you lovely things! It’s nearly Spring and we’re all the way to verse 6! You are doing fabulously, Sisters. We are still THOUSANDS strong on this Scripture memory team. Thousands of Swords drawn and in the hands of women who want to love and not hate, build up and not destroy, rejoice because our God is faithful and not throw ourselves in the nearest ditch because life is hard. And, boy, is it.

I think God has given me something that could be a tad fun to do this time around. Since we started off the week here on the blog talking about clothes, what do you say we end it that way? For those of you who want to come alongside this theme with me, I’m throwing out three different Scriptures about clothing ourselves. You are still welcome to do your own selections as always but, just in case some of you were still in decision-mode and this sounded fitting (pardon the pun), come along with me into the closet of Scripture and let’s come out some well-dressed women of God! I’m offering the first two selections to you in two different versions so you can choose which one resonates most.

Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV) — (As you can see, this one includes two Scriptures. You’d only need to choose one of these for Verse 6 but I thought just maybe somebody could use a fresh, strong exhortation to forgive as you’ve been forgiven. I don’t know about you but that verse is never wasted on me. If you’d like, you could do the first verse for #6 and the second verse for #7.)

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Colossians 3:12-13 (Here are the same two verses in The NET Bible – I loved the wording “clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy.” As you’ll see later in the post, this is the one I’m going to choose for my verse this round.)

 

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others.

================

 

Now for the second set of verses on clothing ourselves. Sometimes we need to clothe ourselves in humility before we try clothing  ourselves to no avail with compassion. Our pride is usually reason #1 that we don’t feel compassionate. At least it has been for me.

 

1 Peter 5:5 (NIV)

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

 

1 Peter 5:5 (The NET Bible)

In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

===================

 

And you’ve just GOT to love Luke 24:49 in view of our clothing theme this week! Here’s the third selection out of the closet of Scripture, straight from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ:

 

Luke 24:49 NIV

 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.

 

Luke 24:49 The NET Bible

And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

 

Power from on high! Bless His most holy Name.

==============

 

So there you have it! Three gorgeous jackets to wear. Which one do you need to wrap around you most right now? Do you need to be clothed with compassion? Humility? Power?? He’s got you covered. But just like we do each morning, we’ve got to get dressed on purpose.

 

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about in view of our clothing theme. Remember all those jackets in my 5+ Year Club? Several of them I’d had for ten solid years and I’m still wearing them. When it comes to tangible clothing, that can be good stewardship. But sometimes we can do the same kind of thing spiritually and emotionally and it’s not pretty. We can keep wearing the same old jacket…

…of anger

…or of bitterness

…or of negativity

…or of chronic disappointment

…or of sensuality

…or of desperation

and we’re so used to wearing it that we throw it on automatically, without giving a thought to the fact that we really could have a whole new wardrobe. It might be time we changed the way we dressed. And this whole new incredibly expensive wardrobe of compassion, humility, and anointing has already been paid for. And it’s in your size and mine.

 

Yep. I’m in the mood for some new clothes.

 

Beth, Houston. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. Colossians 3:12-13 The NET Bible

 

OK, Sisters! Let’s have it! What are you memorizing this time around???

 

 

PS. LifeWay Women’s All Access Blog did the funniest thing. They dug into the Living Proof Live archives and pulled out pictures of every single one of those jackets in Monday’s post. Some of you might get a kick out of it.  Here’s the link: The Proof Is In The Jacket.

 

 

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2013 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 5!

Hey, Darling Things! I was so happy to catch up with many of you yesterday! I was seriously thirsty for some time with you. If you didn’t tune in to the livestream but want to catch up, check the previous post. The video will stay up for a little while. It’s not at all too late to watch it and leave a comment with your 5-song playlist (on that post, not this one please!). That post is about trading in a spirit of despair for a garment of praise!  If you’re game for that, jump back to the previous entry after you’ve left your memory verse here.

Man, oh, man, I was tested all day long yesterday on whether or not I’d permit Jesus to cover me with a garment of praise. Anybody else? The day wasn’t complete until I had car trouble. Oh, and I almost forgot to throw in here that Star and Geli were bound and determined to have my raccoon for supper. I screamed to high heaven and Keith ran out in the sticks barefooted in his maroon Texas A&M pajama pants and called them off. Why the police didn’t drive up to see if there had been domestic violence, I’ll never know. Laughing. Oh, mercy, ladies. We live real lives, don’t we? The kind where you unload a dishwater that was crammed full of dishes only to realize late into the massive unloading that they were still dirty. Blast it.

I’m praising our glorious God this morning while it is still dark outside, anticipating that over the next half hour the sun will rise on a brand new day and it will be a great one. A great one, indeed, Lord Jesus. Bring it. And show Your beautiful self to us in its course.

SO, SISTERS, IT’S TIME FOR OUR 5TH VERSE! You are jotted in my prayer journal this morning where I asked God to keep you steadfastly at the process and to give you joy and victory in it and to keep your soul alive and healthy in His Word. Do not grow weary in your well doing! Always keep in mind that we’re wearing our obsessive minds out on SOMETHING. It may as well be the Word of God with the power to build it back up! Your God did not give you a spirit of fear, Sweet Thing, but of…

POWER.

LOVE.

SELF CONTROL.

I thought maybe some of you could use some fresh ideas this round so I’m going to put a few extras in here today. Two of these are from the Psalm I read to you at the conclusion of the livestream yesterday. The beauty of the first selection is that it would count for both your Scriptures this month since it’s two verses. Now, mind you, you’d still have to document the second half of it on March 15th but that’s easy to do. Right? I felt like God put a word on my heart yesterday that some of us who are really struggling with the memorization process might be making it a bit harder than it has to be in some of our selections. Try to avoid over-complicating it when possible. Only choose a really complex portion when you feel like your life and sanity depend on it and, in that case, go for it with all your might and ask God to empower you to absorb it. OK, here goes:
(1)  It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; (v.2) to declare Your steadfast love in the morning, and Your faithfulness by night.  Psalm 92:1-4 ESV   (See how easy those two would be, Sisters? And it would knock out your whole month of March!)

I’ll go ahead and choose the second one (out of the same Psalm) for my selection this March 1st. I’m choosing The NET Bible for my translation on this one because it makes me happy to use the word happy in a Bible verse. Thank you, Miss Shameless Sanguine.

Beth, Houston. “For You, O Lord, have made me HAPPY by Your work. I will sing for joy because of what You have done.” Psalm 92:4 The NET Bible

 

I’ll throw in one more because I jotted it down on an index card several months ago and set it on my desk at home where I can see it everyday while I’m having my quiet time. It hasn’t finished its work in me yet so, while it’s still on my mind, I’ll offer it up as one more possibility for some of you. I love, love, love this verse in The Message.

GOD, the Master, The Holy of Israel,
has this solemn counsel:
“Your salvation requires you to turn back to me
and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.
Your strength will come from settling down
in complete dependence on me.”  Isaiah 30:15 The Message

Well, amen to that.

I love you guys so much! That sun is just beginning to peak through the trees. It’s going to be a great day.

 

 

 

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