Friday, November 10, 2017

Purpose and Vison

What do you think of when you think of your purpose?


Do you think of it in terms of what you want to do or what makes you happy?  Or, do you think of it in terms of God's purpose for your life.  His vision uniquely created just for you?


Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV)*

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Time and time again, I go on a "search" cycle for my vision...what am I to do next...what is wrong about what I am doing that I want to change into something that is "righter" (yes, not a word, but funny just the same). 


This morning I realized that I am looking at this the wrong way.  My vision doesn't matter at all.  It is God's vision that is most important.  Instead of looking for books and articles that will help me explore my future, I am going to let God tell me what he has planned for me. 


Will this be easy?
Will he be loud and tell me exactly what to do?


No and no...


1 Kings 19:11-13New International Version (NIV)*

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”


It will be His gentle whisper that will guide me.  We must work to hear the gentle whisper. 


Yesterday I was dialed in for a call and the sound quality was very poor.  Admittedly, I usually listen in on this call while multi-tasking with other things.  Yesterday I could not.  Yesterday I had to focus my ears specifically on the call so that I could hear every word.  If I turned my head, I missed all that was being said.  The information was important.  If I had been focused on other things, I would have missed some important information and been unable to share in the joy of a co-worker as she told her story of recent success. 


We must work to hear the gentle whisper.


The gentle whisper will tell me God's vision.  My vision doesn't matter.  Only the plans He has for me matter. 


This is not easy, but it is essential to honor my Master and Lord Adonai.


Lord, I pray to hear you through the wind and earthquakes and fires of this world.  I ask that you show me the next step.  The one that I can take to continue on Your path.  I trust You even though I don't understand.  Your Peace will guide me.  It passes all understanding.  Lord I thank You for the ability to focus on Your still small voice and wait expectantly for all of the wonderful things You will do next in my life.  Amen.


(*bible quotes sourced from www.biblegateway.com)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Trial with Inductive Bible Study

Have you heard of Inductive Bible Study?  I first heard about it in a group I am in for clergy spouses.
 
Inductive Bible Study is an "investigative approach to the Bible using three basic components:  Observation, Interpretation and Application" (http://precept.org/know-gods-word)





I was seeking a new way to study The Word that would bring me some further insight into the Bible itself v. just reading a story.  I had tried several times over the year to read the bible cover to cover.  I have several One Year Bibles and so many "plans" it is obnoxious.  The latest I ever got was to Psalms. 


Recently I realized that there were so many things I had read in the Old Testament but because I start at Genesis every time, I never got to Proverbs, the Prophets or anything in the New Testament.  And, although I have done studies that cover these areas of the Bible, I just didn't have anything really in depth.


This was troubling to me.  I wanted to know...God was giving me a hunger for His Word. 


I posted on Facebook if anyone used this method and got a few really good responses.  I was further intrigued. 


In looking at the website for Precept Ministries (http://precept.org) I found a really good resource on "getting started" and selected the book "Lord, Teach me to Study the Bible in 28 Days".  Note this is intended to Teach the method of studying in 28 days, not to study the entire bible in 28 days!!

I just finished Day 24 (21 days to form a habit right :))


I have learned that the Word is alive, it is relevant and it is the #1 way God speaks directly to me...


I can't wait to study more!


I remembered that as I was studying this book I had a book that I picked up from my Emmaus Walk in 2008 that, when we were moving, I kept knowing I wanted to do the study.  Incidentally it is a book in the same "Lord" series by Precept.  "Lord, I want to know You" and it teaches the different names of God used through the Bible. 
It is a 42 day study and I start it next week!!


Lord, I Want to Know You: A Devotional Study on the Names of God




Our Bible Study Group at Church is also doing an Inductive Study in the 40 Minute No Homework Series.  This series allows the group to get together once a week and study with no extra work in between!  Perfect for the busy ladies in our church for sure :)  And, with a variety of topics in the series, we are bound to have many months of topics to pick from!






You can find these books on Amazon or on the Precept store.


**I was not paid for this but I was convicted by God to share this opportunity for you to deepen your relationship with Him through this study method

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

New Chapter...One Month Later

Some things are the same...some things are drastically different.


Some days I roll with the punches and embrace the new....some days I feel like a fish out of water.


Some times I am confident...some times I am unsure if I have what it takes.


Some moments are all talk and no action...some moments are all action and not talk.


I try to think things through without getting overwhelmed.  I work to remember that God has this and that He has big plans for me that involve this path.  That He will equip the called and that I don't have to know everything to step ahead to the next stone in the path of life. 


I get attacked by the enemy... a lot!!  I see victory in this because it means that when I am doing things they are things that God has planned.  But it hurts...it is hard...some days I just fall short and succumb to the unfortunate nagging of the devil himself.  I rebuke him...cry out to God to put up a shield...


I must remain strong even when I don't feel like it.  I must move ahead even though I feel like I fall way short.  I must not listen to the enemy who may have power but no authority in my life.  It is my choice to respond to the sneaky ways of the enemy.  I must choose only God.


I make mistakes...I ask for forgiveness...I work to forgive myself. 


I listen to praise and worship songs.  I read the Word. 


I try to focus on that one tiny next step that God has placed before me.  I try not to look up and to the sides and all around and realize that I am walking on water.  I don't want to sink.  Just one step ahead...only one...the only one I need.


He is the only One I  need.


Jesus....just Jesus.