I have so much to say and I want to share it with the entire world, but am insecure about doing so. On one hand, I want to shout out to anyone who will listen, on the other hand, I want to be anonymous.
That made me wonder if it's even possible to build a following with a minimal online presence, plus, does it even matter? Is what I have to say worth anyone's time or energy to read it? Is it any good? Or is it just a bunch of ramble that only I'm interested in? I'll just have to be patient and see if it's in God's plan for me.
The theme of bible verses for the last few weeks has been the love of the Triune (God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit). We'll continue with that theme this week and start with a new theme next week. I hope you've enjoyed this collection. I've been pulling verses from the New International Version in the hopes that it will be easier to understand the text. If you have any questions, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
Sunday, January 29 Luke 12:13-14:6
Monday, January 30 Luke 14:7-16:31
Tuesday, January 31 Luke 17:1-19:10
Wednesday, February 1 Luke 19:11-20:47
Thursday, February 2 Luke 21:1-22:46
Friday, February 3 Luke 22:47-23:56
Saturday, February 4 Luke 24:1-John 1:34
God, the Father is always there for you; His love never wanes. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Stop what you're doing right now and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Ask Him to wash away your sins.
If you have questions, or need help, my email is below. I can put you in touch with people who have answers.
Look at all God has done for us! How great is His love?!
Psalm 8:1-9 (NIV)
1 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
Sunday, January 22 Mark 16:9-Luke 1:66
Monday, January 23 Luke 1:67-3:20
Tuesday, January 24 Luke 3:21-5:26
Wednesday, January 25 Luke 5:27-7:23
Thursday, January 26 Luke 7:24-8:56
Friday, January 27 Luke 9:1-10:24
Saturday, January 28 Luke 10:25-12:12
Today feels like a day of mourning, just as it did the day the president-elect became the Republican candidate, and then again when he won the election. Now that the actual day is here, I'm praying even more fervently for our country. I'm scared. The majority of our country voted for him only because he was the Republican candidate; another large part of voters chose him because, in their minds, he was the lesser of two evils. News reports, preachers, and others in the public eye laid the groundwork: "if you can't vote for the man, then vote for the party"; "if you can't get behind any of the candidates, pick the one you dislike the least"; "we know what "she" will do, but what "he" will do is unknown, so we'll take a chance on him".
I'm afraid we've sunk to a new low and will be the laughing stock of all nations. We've lost our military presence, our threat of a country to be reckoned with. We've taken God out of our government, institutions, lives, which leaves us all alone during this pre-tribulation time. Our President apologized for us to other countries! What could he have been thinking?! Apologize for what? For trying to make the world a better place? For our giving nature and assistance? For our defenses? "They" crossed the "red line" and we just stood there and waved. Now that's something to apologize for. We've become so politically correct that we have paralyzed ourselves, because if we take any action, it will offend someone. Yet, we (well, not me, but others) elect a person to the highest, most important office of our country who has offended every group/minority except for (maybe) middle-aged white males. I'm literally sick to my stomach over this.
Our nation is completely divided, party against party, ethnicity against ethnicity, legal against illegal, man against woman, even. I no longer consider myself a democrat, but neither am I a republican, I'm just an extremely anxious American.
This is just my opinion, and I agree, we don't know what he'll do as President, but if his campaign speeches and tweets were any indication at all, then we are in for a long and rocky road ahead. He acts like a spoiled child, spewing forth insults and name calling to anyone who doesn't worship the ground he walks on.
There's really nothing more to say; all we can do is wait and see. It's in God's hands and I trust that He has a plan to use this new administration to bring us closer to the second coming of Christ. Still, I pray with a pleading heart to save us from the tragedy that is certain to come.
Note: So many of these verses of God's love come from the Apostle John. John is the disciple "whom Jesus loved". He was the only disciple present at the cross when Jesus was crucified. He was the man Jesus chose to take care of His mother, Mary.
I'm already behind on my reading. Unfortunately, that's what happens with New Year's Resolutions. So, I'm just going to not worry about it, start where I left off, and keep reading. After I get through Matthew, I want to go back and post a short synopsis of the Gospel for other people, who, like me, used to read through the bible but not really comprehend how it all flowed together.
Keep on, keeping on! You can do this!
Sunday, January 15 - Read Mark 3:1-4:41
Monday, January 16 Mark 5:1-6:44
Tuesday, January 17 Mark 6:45-8:38
Wednesday, January 18 Mark 9:1-10:34
Thursday, January 19 Mark 10:35-12:34
Friday, January 20 Mark 12:35-14:42
Saturday, January 21 Mark 14:43-16:8
This theme of bible verses this week, last week, and for the next couple of weeks is: the love of the Triune (God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit).
These verses, I feel, show us God's eternal love for us.
1 John 4:7-11 (NKJV)
Knowing God Through Love
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
I absolutely love this song. It's an amazing reminder to trust in God and know that He has a plan for you and your life. In order to fulfill that plan, things need to be done in His time, not in ours. I've highlighted the chorus below because these words are often on my mind whenever I feel myself getting impatient.
Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what you see
I try to win this war
I confess, my hands are weary, I need your rest
Mighty warrior, king of the fight
No matter what I face you're by my side
When you don't move the mountains I'm needing you to move When you don't part the waters I wish I could walk through When you don't give the answers As I cry out to you I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you
Truth is you know what tomorrow brings
There's not a day ahead you have not seen
So let all things be my life and breath
I want what you want Lord and nothing less
When you don't move the mountains
I'm needing you to move
When you don't part the waters
I wish I could walk through
by Lauren Daigle
Why Christianity? #2 Because we can see Jesus working in our daily lives. Samaritan's Purse, Operation Christmas Child, is a charity that our church supports. Every year the congregation donates items for the boxes: pens, pencils, crayons, paper, glue, small toys, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, socks, etc. Then, in November, the children of the church pack all of the items into individual boxes that are then sent off to children somewhere in the world; we don't know where our specific boxes go until sometime in December. One year, they were sent to Madagascar, which I thought was really neat. We receive many wonderful letters from children who have received the boxes telling us of their joy and the impact this has had on their lives.
I hope you'll enjoy this video. One of my favorite lines from this is that these boxes allow the children "to experience God in tangible ways."
I wanted to share these verses to emphasize that nothing in this world is certain; material things won't do you a bit of good after you die, but one thing is certain, and steadfast, and true...that is God's love for you. He is always, always there for me. He answers every single prayer. It may not be the answer I want, and it may not be within the time frame that I want it, but He always, always answers.
"...The voice said, "Cry out!"
And he said, "What shall I cry?"
All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the LORD
blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands
Isaiah 40:6-8 NKJV
John MacArthur* wrote of this:
"Isaiah elaborated on how transitory humanity is: here today, gone tomorrow. People pass away like plants under the hot breath of the withering E wind. James used this illustration to teach the folly of trusting in material wealth (James 1:10,11). Peter used it to illustrate the passing nature of everything related to humanity (1 Pet. 1:24, 25).
*MacArthur, J. (1997). The MacArthur study bible, NKJV. Thomas Nelson.
Visit Grace To You to hear sermons by John MacArthur.
(I highly recommend this bible. It has been an invaluable asset in my bible studies.)
January blues seem to be a yearly thing for me. It's amazing how I can go from feeling energized with all of the exciting things I'm going to do in the new year, to depressed - completely depressed - within the first week. This January hasn't even been bad, weather-wise; well, today is.
Typical Ohio winter day: grey, wet, dark, cold, windy...it sucks the energy right out of me. I tend to overthink things, too, which doesn't help. It lends itself to getting overwhelmed easily, which leads to a type of psycho-paralysis (my term, not literally paralyzed) and so I just sit, and think, and worry, and stress. It becomes a vicious cycle that is difficult to break away from.
Luckily, when I decide that enough is enough, I can work out of my funk, in one of several ways:
Count my blessings. I am so grateful for everything in my life, and for my life, but sometimes, I lose sight of that, so I literally make a numbered list of everything that's going right in my life, and praise God for His grace and mercy.
Find something in my everyday life that makes me laugh. There's a man who stands out on a corner in downtown Dayton and dances for the traffic. He was even out in the rain dancing and smiling. The squirrels outside my window make me laugh...today one was running up the side of a house across the street. He ran up to the window sill, sat (and actually looked like he was peering in the window) and then climbed back down, ran over to a tree, ran up and then down, and then repeated the whole thing. Yes, I realize this makes me look terribly pathetic, sitting around watching a squirrel, but, it helped, so :-P
Call someone - on the phone - not a text, or an email, an actual, person to person interaction.
Meditate. Sometimes I just need to clear my mind of all that clutter. So, I sit quietly, close my eyes, and just focus on my breathing. More often than not, God will use that time to show me or tell me what to do.
Pray. I am sure to praise God, and thank Him for everything, first; then, I speak to Him about whatever is troubling me.
Read the Bible. All the answers are in there.
Write. I have an ongoing journal that I keep and just let it all out. I can say whatever I want; no one is going to judge me, and it really relieves a lot of anxiety. If it doesn't work, I write in my paper journal, with a pen; I think it works better than typing, but that's just me.
If you have any ways that you work through depression, feel free to share them in the comments.
I received a writing challenge last weekend to retell a story from the Bible, in my own words, to emphasize what is important about it to me, and what I would want to tell someone else who had never heard of the Bible story. It occurred to me, that this would be a great idea for other aspects of the Bible, as well, and could also incorporate my testimony. So,...
Why Christianity? #1 Because, Jesus loves you.
When I was a child, I went to Sunday School almost every Sunday. We would sing, "Jesus Loves Me" almost every Sunday. There was never any doubt in my mind that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. There was no reason to ever question if I had faith in Him because I just took it as fact what the Bible said, that He loved me, that He died on the cross to pay for my sins, that He promised me eternal life in Heaven, and that one day, I would be with Him, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit forever.
I feel so blessed to have been taught these basic truths, and want to share them.
It seems my good intentions (aka "resolutions") start out pretty well with each new year, but, by the end of the year, it's all "try again after January 1st." So, now that the first of the new year has rolled around, it's time for all of my do-overs. I'll try again to do things that I deem important, but most of which are just day-fillers; things to worry about, focus my attention on.
This new year's focus, and daily focus, I want to be rooted in the bible, and I'll tell you why.
I wrote a sort of "poem" the other day, or maybe it was just a ramble, about death. Towards the end of the piece, it was clear to me that I was the "Observer." The focus of the poem was to show how dying looked to two different men. The one man, named "Hope", didn't want to die, but towards the end, he saw hope, he saw his family and friends who had passed before him, and he was at peace. The second man, named "Dread", thought he wanted to die, but when he saw the gates of hell open before him, he was terrified; he could find no friends or family because in hell, there is only isolation. I picture it as an eternal sensory deprivation chamber, but maybe that's just me. The thought of anyone I know dying in that way, and especially, spending eternity that way sickens me, especially if there were something that I could have said or done to prevent it. We're all called to be witnesses and disciples for Jesus, but I've always felt uncomfortable coming right out and saying anything for fear of offending someone, or angering someone, or being questioned and not knowing the answers. By being merely an "observer" to this life, I have no purpose. God has given me the gift* to write and create (or at the very least, the gift to believe that I have such a gift), and there's no excuse for not using that to tell what I do know. If anyone has any questions, I can find someone to give you an answer, or, surprise of surprise, I may know the answer.
So, we'll see if my newest, latest resolutions last past today. I'll post that poem tomorrow (at least, I intend to.)