Two Questions

You WANT to read the BIBLE!
You’ve TRIED to read it!
You make plans & commitments to do it!
But then… you open it and stare…
um… “Now what?” you say.

TRY THIS…

– Pick one of the gospels
(Matthew, Mark, Luke or John).
– Read part or all of a chapter.
– Ask yourself these two questions:

1. What does this tell me about GOD?

2. What does this tell me about ME?

– Jot down your answers.
– Praise God for the answer to #1
– Talk with Him about answer #2

Now you’ve just read The Word and prayed.
It’ll grown.
Time with Jesus becomes super personal
and incredibly addicting!!!! 🙂
But YOU have to take the time to spend
with Him.
He already made the time
to become human,
die a torturous death,
come back to life and
give you HIS Word
for encouragement & guidance.
He started it.

Now you get to enjoy it.
Your relationship can grown.
So get your
BIBLE
Notebook/Journal
Pen
and ask yourself these TWO QUESTIONS!

(Note: I don’t remember where I first heard
these questions; I’ve been sharing this idea
for over 20 years! It helps!
Now TRY it!)

We Put Away the Bible Story Book

We did.
We put away the boys’ Bible Story books.
Don’t panic.
We needed to mix it up a little.
My youngest children are 8yr & 10 yr old boys,
and since we’d read & reread all the
Bible Story Books in the house,
we went for something new at bedtime.

Enter YouVersion.
Bible app

We chose a “family” reading plan that has some
devotion ideas to make it interactive for kids.
But actually, we don’t do the devotional things.

My boys love looking up the scripture verses
in their own Bibles and reading them out loud.
That search is so satisfying for them, and it
helps them remember the order of the Books of the Bible…
(we may or may not be occassionaly sing a quirky
song to remember them.)

Then I ask them several questions about the verses.
Things like these:
“What does this tell us about God?”
“Why did Jesus say this?”
“What does He want us to learn from this?”
“What are some situations in our lives where we
would need to remember and apply this?”

I like to make the questions more personal and specific
than the above list, but you get the idea.
Either way, my boys are loving this hands-on time
in God’s Word, and the discussion afterwards easily
leads into prayer time that deals with real situations
that relate to the scripture.

Actually, just about anything can come up in
these conversations since they know that I’ve
set aside this time JUST for them and I will listen
carefully. Their depth and understanding
astounds me sometimes.

As a parent I’m continually trying to reevaluate the
way I go about life. I ask God specific questions
and want always to be willing to switch things around
– big or small- to help my kids grow into the people
He has designed for them to be. And… in the process
I grow a smidgen every now & then, too! 🙂

Delighted

This morning, while using a prayer guide that Chilly posted yesterday, I was stopped in my tracks by a verse I’ve read many times. To keep it short, I’ll use bullet points to share what God’s Truth spoke to me.

Psalm 27:4
“The one thing I ask of the LORD–the thing I seek most–is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

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DELIGHTING!

– The Hebrew word means “Bold. To see.”
– Also means “To look intensely with gratification”

Gratification?

– in English, “gratification” means “to give pleasure or to
have desires satisfied”

Oh my word!

– If I look intensely at Jesus my desires will be satisfied.
– This is because He IS my satisfaction!!!!
– He
– IS
– my
– satisfaction!

He is more than ENOUGH!

-When I’m intensely focused on Jesus, my heart
remembers that HE is all I need.

-When I let my mind get distracted from this
one thing then I easily forget.

HE
IS
ENOUGH

Just One Word

This post isn’t one word… but my focus is.
I asked the Lord to give me one word for this year;
one word to focus on, remember, strive towards, etc.

This morning while reading in Matthew, He very firmly
spoke the word, “TRUTH.”

It makes perfect sense to me.
I’m a “people person,”
And “people persons” really like
people… not a problem.
But they also really want people
to like them…. problem.

Over the years Jesus has taught me more
about obeying Him regardless of what other
people may think or say. But their words
can still mess with my head.

-Stuff I overhear
-Things I think they think
-Knowing I didn’t live up to their expectations
(even if they were totally way off & unrealistic)
– Trying to anticipate their reactions
-Wondering if I shoulda-woulda-coulda…
sigh
You get the picture

All this boils down to…
Who do I want to listen to?
Cuz whoever I listen will prove who I really trust!

He IS Truth!

John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, the truth
and the life…”

Soak in The Water

Dishes!
We have LOTS of dishes!
My hands know the kitchen sink all too well.
This weekend I was washing a stack of dishes & grabbed
a pan coated in yucky, dried grossness. (How is it possible
that this icky mess was once tasty food?)

As I filled that pot with water I said to myself,
“Soaking in water does wonders. It chips away the
crusty grossness.”
And then the Holy Spirit cleared His throat.
“Ehh Hem.”

What, Lord?

“If you’d sit more quietly in my presence I could
chip away at the crusty stuff in your life; the
attitudes that are old, dried, itchy & really
bothering you.”

Oh.

Yes… indeed.
The next morning when I was reading The Word I forced
my mind to shush up, to be still, to soak in the Words
I was reading. Then quietly He whispered to my heart,
proving that He sees me better than I see myself;
showing me the yucky junk that has attached itself to
my thoughts; pointing out how those thoughts lead
to patterns that look nothing like Him. Things I
truly had not even realized were there!

Water does do wonders!
Sitting in His presence;
allowing His wonderfulness wash over me:
soften my heart;

letting my tears be a relief instead of
a frustrated outcry;
loving Him because I’m suddenly awe-struck
by His graciousness to me!

Thank you, Jesus, for speaking to me anytime,
anywhere, through any situation…
every situation…
even the kitchen sink!

John 4:14
But those who drink the water I give will
never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh,
bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

Ezekiel 36:25
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you,
and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away…”

A New Psalm

Wait?
What?
Could it be true? Did he really say that?
Did our Pastor  just give us homework?  How dare he! 🙂 
But he most certainly did just that… On Sunday he asked us to write our own PSALM!

Oh, wait… I totally like “homework”, cuz it challenges me & helps me apply the truth!

The following did not start out as the “assigned Psalm,” it was just a few lines of praise that I started writing in my journal after reading the WORD and talking with Jesus. But then… more came.

 

My Own Psalm

Lord God, You speak to Your people, to me.
You see me where I am and understand the mess I often find myself in.

You help me look up, to see You,
to see Your face, to hear Your voice,
to know You are there.

Yes, You see where I am, but you don’t leave me there,
neither do You shake your head in disgust.
My cries for help make Your heart leap.
My prayers of submission cause You to rejoice.

Then You swoop down into my mess and
surround me with Your powerful but tender hands,
walking me through the hardship.

All the while You’re changing things –
not always the situation at first,
but I can count on You to change my heart-
the heart & attitude of me, Your child.

Hey everyone who is called by His name,
praise the Lord God!
He alone hears us and is able to manage our lives
according to His purpose.

Yes, please speak Your purpose to me, Lord,
for You hear me and see me.

I love you, Lord Jesus!

 

Some other people have linked up their Psalms, too. Click here to read them.

 

His Lap

Recently during my morning time with Jesus I was wiping away another round of tears & apologizing to Jesus for all the crying I’d done in recent days.

 
“Lord, I’m so sorry. All I’ve done lately is just sit in your lap and bawl. How pathetic.”

 
“Netta, My lap is your safe place, it’s where you’re supposed to cry. ”

 

 

“The name of the Lord is a strong fortress. The godly run to Him & are safe.”

Proverbs 18:10

 

 

 

 

Am I messin’ them up?

 

Alarm!

I’m startled awake.

“Oh, Jesus. Help me. Am I screwing up my kids?”

(A thought/prayer that crosses my mind pretty often.)

 

When I was pregnant with our oldest child (almost 20 yrs ago), someone told me this little thought:

“If you are concerned that you could be doing more with & for your child then it shows that you care, and you’re probably doing a great job. But to think you’re doing just fine all the time probably shows a selfish pride that translates into poor parenting.”

True! True! But I must take it a step further…  because I’m aware of my weaknesses I’m driven to spend time with Jesus…everyday!  He teaches me, corrects me and refocuses my thoughts & attitudes. He assures me of His love & personal involvement in our lives… cuz we’re committed to Him.

Take heart, my parenting-friend. Sure, you’re capable of screwing up your kids. So, invest in a real relationship with Jesus; He made us & our kids.. He knows how we’re wired & what will work best.  And remember… The day we stop wondering if we can be a better parent is the day we should be concerned!

 

(NOTE: This post is NOT condoning laziness or negligence, but rather an encouragement to be diligent and properly focused.)

 

 

 

 

Don’t Change cuz…

 

 

 

 

 

 

This morning as I was praying for a person in my life & a  specific

situation I asked God to “change this & that” and then asked

Him what He wanted me to change.  He pointed out a couple of things.

 

I repented and began to make  notes about changing those

areas/attitudes & actions. Then God gently but firmly said,

“Don’t change in an effort to bring about change in

someone else. Change yourself because it’s the right thing  to do.”

 

Ouch

 

(repented again)

 

 

 

Totally

I recently read a blog by a great young student of The Word about being

“totally dependent” on Jesus. He had a very honest friend who commented

by asking “What does that look like in real life?”

I typed out a few thoughts… listed below. How would you explain it?

Being totally dependent means letting go of pride; having a daily

close “gotta-have-time-with-Jesus-or-I’m-gunna-die” kinda time each day;

and having the constant realization that my life is not about me!