Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekly Memory Verse

Before I begin this week's memory verse, I would like to thank Peggy for stepping in to pinch-hit for me as my work and family life overwhelmed me.

I also would like to thank those who are participating in this for their patience and understanding.

God and I have come to a new understanding this weekend, and that understanding involves my own personal focus. My focus had been overtaken by my work situation, turmoils occurring almost on a daily basis with my family--and unfortunately, I was dwelling on these.

I was talking with God about all of this, of course. But, I was not listening intently on what He had to say to me. He has given me two words this weekend:




Focus on Jesus, and Jesus alone--not all the storms that are going on around me--but how He wants me to react and use these circumstances.

Rest--this I learned this morning from our worship service--Sabbath Rest--work 6 days and one day devoted to rest--just as God did when He created the universe.

Also, spontaneous rest--those moments of rest just as Mary had when Jesus stopped by Martha's house. Martha welcomed Jesus and the apostles into her home, but she was too busy and distracted to sit at His feet--rest and learn--as Mary did.

Jesus' burdens upon us are light and easy. Any burdens that I am finding heavy laden--weighing me down--are expectations that I have placed upon myself or expectations that others have placed upon me. And we are right back to focus and rest to relieve those burdens.

All of this being said, we'll now move on to last week's memory verse which I did take the time to memorize:

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain....Philippians 1:21 (NASB)

We must remember that this is the Apostle Paul writing--a letter to Philippi--from prison. He has been shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, flogged, hungry, thirsty, naked.

Let's break this short verse into two:

For to me, to live is Christ--This is far more than just imitating Jesus. This is Jesus moving into your heart, your mind, your soul, your body; so that Jesus life is lived through you.

We are to show the life of Jesus in the best possible way, the most pleasing setting (ourselves)--so that others will come to Him. He is to come first in our lives--before anyone or anything else.

This is through our very actions, words, facial expressions, perhaps just a touch at the right moment. We live in a basically noncaring society, and when people are shown the care and love of Jesus Christ, sometimes they don't know how to react. It is our job to instruct them in His love.

As I have gone back and reread what I have written so far, I realize that my Christian living is substandard a lot of the time--a hurtful word spoken here, an irritated look there--oh, I could go on!! Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness for we all live substandardly--sometimes more so than others.

The second part of this short, power-packed verse says and to die is to gain.

Paul's life was a wonderful fellowship with our Lord. But, to Paul, his own death meant that this would lead to an even more intimate relationship with Jesus.

The word gain means a "success" or a "win"--and to Paul dying was a winning situation--just as death should be to all those who believe that Jesus is our salvation.

We do not fear death because death will bring us closer to our goal--spending eternity with Our Lord in Heaven.

Christ has not only spoken to us by his life, but has also spoken for us by his death.

-- Søren Kierkegaard

Let's move on to next week's verse which is the 8 of spades from the Embracing the Word cards:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.....1 John 1:9 (NASB)

If you are participating (and I really would love to see everyone who stops by to at least comment if not participate!), please link up below:


Saturday, July 18, 2009


This should have been our Weekly Memory Verse for this past week:

Week 23

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Acts 1:8 (NASB)

And the new one for this week:

Week 24

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21 (NASB)


If you'd like, you could do both since the new one is few words but very powerful ones... Or choose. If in the future, you'd like to continue the WEEKLY MEMORY VERSE and the new one is not posted, please go here to my Memory Verses 2009, where each week is listed.

from the "Pinch Hitter" ~ Peggy

(*hey, it's summer time & baseball season. I can not do the justice to writing on these verses as Beth does so well, so I won't attempt it, but at least I can help out while she has a very demanding full "plate" at this time. Keep her in prayer for strength & encouragement. A new job would be nice that she could transfer & not loose anything in doing so. May God bring in the "relief team" soon).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Weekly Memory Verse

Oh, I'm a day late, but the Weekly Memory Verse carries on today!!

Let's see if I remember last week's verse. It is an important one to remember!!

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."......John 14:27 (NASB)

The words of Jesus, spoken to His disciples on the eve of His crucifixion--Jesus--knowing that He is going to suffer a tortuous trial and death, and yet He is speaking of peace. How can this be?

This goes further in John 16:33:

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

What a wonderful promise Jesus has given us!! He is not saying that by becoming a follower of Him we will not have trials and turmoils. In fact, He is saying that we will have storms in our lives.

We live in a world full of daily onslaughts. Right now, my own onslaughts are attacking me from my job and stresses within my own family dynamics. These situations are far from peaceful......they could even be considered to be "peace-destroyers'.....if I let them.

God has called us to live a life that runs counter to much of the world's practices and attitudes. It is very easy to get caught up in these "peace destroyers"--looking to the world for our peace and comfort--the acquisition of "things" to fill our hearts.

These "things" can come in many forms--sometimes catching us unaware--addictions in many, various ways; controlling attitudes; trying to buy our peace with material items--oh, I could go on and on here--but, I'm sure you have the picture.

And, I'm sure that sometimes--for a brief period--we feel that these "things" will bring us peace. But this is not true peace.

Jesus says in His prayer to His Father in John 17:11:

"Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world."

Jesus knows that He is leaving this earth--and He is leaving behind a world filled with economic struggles, wars, spiritual strife, natural disasters, accidents, terminal diseases. And we are here in this world struggling with these.

So, where do we turn? Where do we go?

To the feet of Jesus who has overcome the world. He is our only peace in this world--a peace that is very different from what the world considers to be peace.

This is a peace that fills my heart--regardless of my day to day circumstances. This is a peace that knows that by trusting God, surrendering to Him and allowing Him full control, His good plans and purposes will be known in my life.

Fully surrendering to God can be a frightening experience. We're giving up our control for God's control. We are allowing God full control, and this involves a great measure of trust--trust that God knows all and will see us through--no matter what comes our way--striving to reproduce His character in ourselves and always remaining obedient to His Word.

Then, we will know God's peace--the peace that surpasses all human understanding.

Let's move on to Week 22 of the "Embracing the Word" cards:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God......John 1:1-2 (NASB)

If you are participating this week, please link up below:


Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekly Memory Verse

I just wanted to let you know that I'll be posting this week's verse later this evening. Sorry for the delay!!