Monthly Archives: August 2011

1 Samuel 24, 1 Corinthians 5, Ezekiel 3, Psalm 39

 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you… 1 Samuel 24:10

 “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:4-7

And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. Ezekiel 3:1-4

King Saul threatened David’s life. The Lord turned the tables on the chaos and confusion, putting the control into David’s hands.

This past week an earthquake and a hurricane put many people at risk. With no electricity, no running water and no ability to cook food, my life felt fleeting and unstable. My security blew away with Irene’s wind.

Thankfully, no trees fell on my house, but the damage done area wide humbled me. Water became precious.

Ezekiel 3 reminded me that I had “eaten the scroll” for years as I read, meditated and studied the Scripture daily. Most of God’s word flows through my blood, dictating my philosophy, yet my trust during this time of stress did not seem to lie with my Maker.

Now I ask myself, Lord what do I look for? Is my hope really in You?

yicareggie

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1 Sam. 23; 1 Cor. 4; Ezek. 2; Ps. 38

I can recall several occasions during a message when the speaker discussed the reasons for Paul’s letter(s) to the Corinthians.  How he had heard that there were factions at work that were (perhaps unconsciously) splitting the church apart. How they were proud of their tolerance of immoral practices. How they were proud of their “righteousness.”     It wasn’t until I studied this chapter in preparation for this blog, that I really got how Paul was feeling.  He was PO’d them.

Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have become kings—and that without us! How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you! For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 1 Cor 4:8-10

I’d never picked up on the fact that Paul was actually being sarcastic here.  This spiritually immature church was thinking they were “it!”  Paul’s admonition, though, must have hit hard.  He was trying to get them to see that their haughtiness was actually having a negative effect.  That in their pride over being “righteous” they were causing division.

How often does that happen to me?  How many times have I looked at someone else, usually a non-believer, and passed judgment.  Heck, I did it this morning, even after I had read this passage.  How many times have I felt proud that I am an “authentic Christian?”  Paul’s point was, it wasn’t about them – and it isn’t about me.  I need to remember that I still have a long way to go – that even though it’s been many years since I accepted Christ, I am still spiritually immature. I need to resist becoming disconnected from God.  I need to seek fellowship. I need to pray continually.  I know I am saved, that part was easy.  The gift of salvation is free after all.  The hard part is not letting the “world” get the better of me.

God, my prayer today is that I can continue to stay truly connected to you.  That I can live each day as you would live it.  To love everyone as you do.  Thank you for your Gift.  AMEN

Jim (jmitch1)

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1 Samuel 21, 22; 1 Corinthians 3; Ezekiel 1; Psalm 37

“…do not fret.” ~Psalm 37: 1, 7, 8

“Trust in the Lord” ~ Psalm 37: 3
“Delight in the Lord” ~ Psalm 37: 4
“Commit your way to the Lord” ~ Psalm 37: 5

I have had a really tough week.  It seems like the stress just keeps piling up and I can’t see an end in the near future.  I had one very restless night where I worried and got no sleep.  This psalm is a perfect reminder that we need not worry, but instead trust in the Lord.  Instead of worrying we can praise Him; delight in Him; trust Him.  He is in control of my life and this entire world.  The Lord will deliver me from this stressful time and instead of worrying I just need to praise Him.

I am reminded of an old song by the Imperials; Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord
He work through those who praise Him
Praise the Lord
For our God inhabits praise
Praise the Lord
For the chains that seem to bind you, serve only to remind you that they drop powerless behind you when you praise Him

Praise You, Lord!!  You are greater than all of my struggles and I do not need to worry!

kathleenathome

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I Samuel 20; I Corinthians 2; Lamentations 5; Psalms 36

Left to my own devices, I march about the day as the big game changer. I,  Kathy Luehman make things happen. I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I am maker of meals, healer of wounds, payer of bills, road warrior… the list goes on. But God, in his  mercy and infinite grace kindly takes me off my throne and seats me where I can get a much better view of life as it really is. He invites me into the mystery of his grace at work in a beloved sin wracked world. He plants the seed of hope deep in the heart. Because of his great love and delight in us, we become part of this mystery.

We speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  However, as it is written:  No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.  I Corinthians 2:7-10

So today, I step away from the busyness of life to revel and bask in that secret wisdom God has called me into. May I treasure this privilege always.

Kathy

A song to listen to and celebrate if you like:


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1 Samuel 19; 1 Corinthians 1; Lamentations 4; Psalm 35

I admit that I am ashamed of the Gospel sometimes. I know I’m not supposed to be, but I am. I think our reading in 1 Corinthians hits the nail on the head regarding why.

18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19As the Scriptures say,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”[e]

20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. (1 Corinthians 1: 18-23, NLT, bold added)

I am an engineer and I work with mostly engineers. This is not a very Christian bunch as a whole. For the most part, this is a smart bunch of folks. And this smart bunch of folks generally see the message of the cross as foolish nonsense, just like Paul says. But while I admit that I sometimes have doubts or struggle, for the most part I think the world makes the most sense through the lens of the Christian worldview. Sometimes I’m baffled at how the smartest people just don’t see it that way. How can this be?

When I read 1 Corinthians I am reminded that we will seem foolish to “those who are headed for destruction”. I am reminded of what true wisdom is. I am encouraged.

Lord, help me to get over this embarrasment I sometimes feel over my faith. Remind me that you truly are the way, the truth and the life.

Sue

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1 Samuel 18; Romans 16; Lamentations 3; Psalm 34

I have two girls. They bicker. They tattletale, despite years of encouraging them to handle issues between each other first. And their response is always the result of someone else’s action.

“You can’t control what someone else does. You can’t blame them for your response. You are responsible for you,” I remind. Regardless of who starts what. That’s the short version.

That lesson made sense to me, until Saul–and a mood hand-delivered from God.

On a day when everyone celebrated, he was wounded by the frolic-song of women. Words can hurt, especially when intentions are (mis)interpreted by insecurity. I get all this. But I stopped cold at the next line:

The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. 1 Samuel 18:10 (NLT)

The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul … (NIV)

… an ugly mood was sent by God to afflict Saul … (The Message)

Rising above the tease of a sibling vs being overwhelmed by a spirit from God seem two ends of a spectrum, but  regardless of the purpose (which we may never know) or the source (be it from our own interpretation of events or divine intervention) of a trial–aren’t we still responsible for us? Isn’t God still interested in our response whether we are under blessing or affliction?

Reading through Lamentations 3 and Psalm 34, I see the cause and I see the response.

 19-21I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,

   the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

 22-24God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left. Lamentations 3:19-24 (The Message)

In Lamentations, peering out from the load dumped down from the verse one and on, I read this:

28-30When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.

And in Psalm 34,

8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.

Lord, in Job I read how you permitted the pain in his life. And in Hannah’s prayer, I am reminded again the earth is yours and you set it in order. All throughout scriptures you reveal, explain and prepare us for trials and troubles … and all throughout scripture is your assurance you are with us, you are good and you love us. Lord, in blessings or in troubles and trials, my hope and desire is to turn to you and bless your name. Amen.

Courtney (66books365)

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1 Samuel 17; Romans 15; Lamentations 2; Psalm 33

Instantaneous news.

Before the quake stops shaking texts begin to fly. Twitter updates come in at a steady stream in 140 characters or less. Facebook conversations get a sudden springboard. And, everyone hits the internet to research earthquakes and aftershocks and epicenters.

In a much simpler time, but wrought with its own tragedies, news traveled by foot.

Wondering if his sons might still be alive, Jesse sends David to check out the battle scene.

I relate most to the Israelites in this story. Shaking uncontrollably from fear.

I size up my enemy. Daily it taunts me. I can tell you everything about it, even its next move, because it is pretty much the same thing as yesterday. My own Goliath of Gath.So close the Israelites could see the veins on his neck as he mocked them. So often that they knew every strand of his armor.

You likely have one, too. Fear, doubt, depression, anger, complacency, pride, uncertainty. Take your pick.

” . . . all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.” Yep, that’s me. I don’t even dare approach it. I know failure is guaranteed.

I think I must need some new armory to take this one down. What can I possibly use?

Then David shows up. Ancient weapons. Stones.

I have a rock, too, but I forget to stand on it.

He has a slingshot.

I have a sword, but it sits lifeless.

And it only took one shot for victory to run rampant over the enemy camp.

Victory comes effortlessly if I rest in the Master’s hand. David’s heart flows out in the Psalms. He didn’t likely write Psalm 33 from what I can gather, but we can see the heart attitude of a true victor there. The prayer at the close of this Psalm is my prayer as well.

Father God,

Our soul waiteth for You, our help and our shield.

 21For our heart shall rejoice in You, because we have trusted in Your holy name.

 22Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in You.

~In Jesus Name, Amen

Erin (5intow)

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