Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Can't Help It!

I can't help it! Have you ever said that? I have and certainly my children have also. Usually it's in reference to getting caught doing something that they shouldn't be doing. However, I thought of it differently this week as I read through the Book of Mark.

First of all, I have a new found love for this particular book in the Bible. It seems that John Mark, the author of the gospel, enjoys stories. So do I. Reading the book straight through made me realize that it is filled with stories about Jesus life here on Earth. Little vignettes of Jesus interacting with the disciples, with his family, with crowds and with individuals can be found in chapter after chapter.

In chapter 3, Jesus casts out evil spirits and commands the spirits not to reveal who he was. Later in chapter 7 Jesus is with another crowd and they ask Him to heal a deaf man with a speech impediment. Jesus heals the man and then commands the crowd not to tell anyone! Huh? Verse 36 says, "...but the more He told them not to, the more they spread the news." They disobeyed Jesus. I think they couldn't help it.

It makes me wonder how often do I feel that blessed by God that I can't help telling someone about Him? Definitely not often enough.

Friday, May 21, 2010

An Opportunity

My reading plan is taking me chronologically through the New Testament and I'm in Acts now. I have a New Living Translation Bible that I often read for the simple pleasure of hearing God's voice and that's the one I'm using for this plan.

Back to the opportunity...Chapters 3 and 4 of Acts are some of my favorite stories in the Bible. Peter and John are entering the temple and a cripple man asks them for money. They don't have any money, so they heal the man. The man then goes leaping and praising God into the Temple with Peter and John. All the people are amazed and stand watching him next to Peter and John. Chapter 3, verse 12 says, "Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd." Boldly Peter tells them the truth-this man's faith in Jesus, the one they crucified, healed him. Peter doesn't concern himself with being politically correct, but seizes the opportunity to proclaim the goodness and mercy of Jesus.

For the past week I've had the opportunity to watch a lot of television. I had surgery a week ago and am confined to doing basically nothing for a couple of weeks. So I read, sleep, eat and watch t.v.! The national news has always been something I keep up with and I've pretty much overdosed on it this week. It's been amazing to watch people be so careful, no matter what the topic or their opinion. Political correctness is at an all time high and the truth of one's convictions seems to have sufferred. May it not be so with us as believers.

May we always proclaim the truth of God's Word and "see" the opportunities that God allows us to share His goodness and mercy. Matthew 24:14 says, "Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear." Our opportunities may not come on a national news program. They may be sitting at our kitchen table or standing in line at the grocery store. Where ever God allows, don't miss the opportunity. Be ready. Stay in the Word.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I started the New Thru 30 reading plan today! It's a 30 day reading plan through the New Testament and you can see it here. Today's reading was in Matthew and covered the genealogy of Jesus, His birth, the calling of the disciples, John the Baptist and many portions of Jesus' teaching and healing. My favorite part today was in reading Matthew chapter 4 where Jesus is being tempted by Satan. It occurred to me that these temptations are ones that we face every day. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that we are all led by the Spirit every day to be tempted by Satan. What I am saying is that we face temptations daily and if we're not aware we can be tripped up.

For instance Satan first tempted Jesus with food. Jesus had been fasting 40 days and nights, so He was obviously hungry and weak. How often are we tempted by things when we're exhausted? Maybe we've had a long day and we're stressed out and our response to something is less than righteous. I know if I've gone a long time without food, than I can be less than nice! Jesus responded with God's Word.

Secondly, Satan tempted Jesus to abuse His power. If you have influence over another person, than you're a leader. Whether you're a parent, a manager or coordinator, there's a potential to misuse that influence to get what we want. We must guard against our own desires and lead others the way that Jesus would. Jesus again responded with God's Word.

Lastly, Satan tempted Jesus with greed. This one always makes me chuckle because in verse 9 Satan says, "I will give it all to you, if you will kneel down and worship me." (NLT) Jesus knew it was all His already, but He didn't worship the stuff. Neither should we. Living in such a materialistic world, we can be consumed with having it all. Daily we need to lay down our desires for the one desire to follow Christ and glorify Him.

We can overcome these temptations, just as Jesus did, by responding with God's Word. Keep reading and meditating on God's Word. When you need it, it will be there to help you.

Let me know if you're reading along. I'd love to hear what passages stuck out to you today.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Thru 30

New Thru 30 is a site I came across a few months ago...probably via somebody else's blog! It is a 30 day reading plan for the New Testament, done chronologically. I bookmarked it and thought I really want to do that some time. Well, it's seems that now is the perfect time. So starting next Monday, May 17th, I'll be reading through the New Testament in 30 days following their plan. (The plan is from Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC and they did it back in January.) Click on the reading plan button and you'll see the schedule. I'm just changing the dates to fit my start and I especially love that there are "Grace Days", so if I get behind, I can catch up.

If you want to join me, just leave me a comment. I'd love to pray for you as we go on this journey. My goal is to post at least once a week about what we're reading and hopefully learn from each other.

And because it's Monday, we need a song. This one is perfect...Word of God Speak by Mercy Me. Enjoy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

You are the Light

I first heard this song a couple of months ago. It's one that just sticks in your mind and you sing it all the time...or at least I do. This weekend we sang it at church and I think I wept through the whole thing. The song says, "You are the Light, the light of the world, And we shine you Lord." Unfortunately I had a moment (o-k maybe a few) this weekend where that wasn't true for me.

Saturday my daughter played in a softball game. Their team has not done well this season. But this day they were playing great and were well on their way to a victory. Talk of an ice cream celebration was in progress. Unfortunately in the last inning things fell apart. During the last play, the ball was hit into right field and our player held the ball. The runner on third stole home. Game Over. We lost. B.R.U.T.A.L.

I am a very competitive soul and nothing about shining Christ entered my mind. My daughter and I headed to the car and unleashed on each other about how pathetic this whole thing was. She's about as competitive as her mother...have mercy!

Fast forward to Sunday morning. Worship was so great at church and then we start singing this song..."We are the people of God, The sons and daughters of love, Forgiven, Restored and Redeemed, Living our lives to the praise of our King". I could barely breath, much less sing. God was so sweet to remind me that my life is to shine for Him-always. You see as I tried to pull myself together, God also reminded me of a conversation I had Friday morning with my daughter. We were driving to school and discussing all things softball. Here's what I said to her:
"Hannah at the end of the day, it's a game. It's just a game. Our goal is to lead people to Jesus, not to us."
You should probably pray for my daughter because her Moma has quite a few people living in her head sometimes. This weekend was no exception. Thankfully we are forgiven, restored and redeemed.