Author Archives: dionak1

2 Samuel 4,5; 1 Corinthians 15; Ezekiel 13, Psalm 52-54

My father-in-law is losing his battle with cancer. His body is rapidly declining. As we gather around him in these his last days, we watch his physical body become weaker and weaker.

What a comfort to read 1 Corinthians 15. Christ is resurrected from the dead. And in time, all of those who believe in Him will be resurrected to live in His kingdom forever.

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep… For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own time: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.” 1 Corinthians 15:20, 22-23

We remind each other that this is not the end for him, a beloved father, grandfather, husband. He will be made alive. He will receive a resurrected body. God will take his weak body and make it into an imperishable, glorious, powerful body.

“So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised I power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. “ 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

Dear God, Thank you for providing a way for us to be with you in your perfect kingdom. You sent your Son to die and be raised from the dead. You have told us to expect to be with you in new bodies. We can rejoice that the end of our time on this earth is a transition to new state of being with you. Give strength to our family as we say goodbye. Help our family through the coming sorrow, for we will miss him greatly.  Amen

Diona

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

God is doing a work in my heart that I cannot do for myself. Only God bring about the softening and the willingness to love. Because I hold onto the hurt and resentment. I tell myself to forgive, yet I count every wrong.

“To the church in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – their Lord and ours:  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:2-3

I am one who is sanctified in Christ Jesus. I am one who is called to be holy. I call on the name of my Lord Jesus Christ.

“But to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” 1 Corinthians 1:24

Christ is the power of God at work in me. He is the instrument of God’s power doing the work of change in my heart. He is healing. He has cracked open my hard heart to allow forgiveness to flow in.

Christ is the wisdom of God at work in me. He is the instrument of God’s wisdom changing the way I see and the way I think. I cannot reason myself into letting go of bitterness.

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

Only through the power of Christ Jesus can I grow more compassionate, more loving, more forgiving.

Dear Lord, You are my Savior, my Redeemer. You are Power and Wisdom. You have set complicated relationships before me. Help me to see those in front of me with your eyes. Help me to love them as you do. Only you can loose the bonds of resentment and ill-feeling. Renew my heart so that I can serve cheerfully. Let me be your servant to show your grace and peace. Amen.

Diona

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1 Samuel 3, Psalm 17, Jeremiah 41, Romans 3

Thankfulness. Gratitude. Awe.

These are my feelings toward God today. Thank you …

To the God who answered a prayer today that I had not yet even voiced, not yet even coherently thought. But I knew it was an answer the moment it entered my head. I was in the middle of a conversation with my boys and God gave me words for them. Words that I had read earlier as I was flipping through Romans to find today’s reading. I knew it was a message that God wanted my fifteen-year old sons to hear right at that time.

To the God who loves my children. He loves them so much that he works through me, a broken sinful mother, to guide them. He gives them situations to grow their character.

To the God who created me to create. I am spending a few days restoring my soul through my craft. I make quilts and the process brings peace and joy to my heart. I tell myself that it is selfish to take time away from my “responsibilities” to do something I enjoy. But I think God may be telling me otherwise. It seems as if God is whispering deep inside me that he wants me to be creative in this way.

To the God of grace, who saved me.

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:21-25

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending Jesus to take the punishment for my sins. I will never comprehend the love that you have for me. I want to be willing to always listen to you. I confess that some days I am more willing than others. Help me to answer your call as Samuel did in today’s reading:

“Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’” 1 Samuel 3:10b

Amen

Diona

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Judges 13; Acts 17; Jeremiah 26; Mark 12

I am a questioner at heart. If you are in a small group discussion with me, I may drive you crazy with continuous questions. My questioning is not motivated by doubts in my faith. I just want a more thorough understanding of who God is so that I can love him deeper.

To be fair, I am not just a questioner in my study of God’s word. I question and research and delve deep in other areas of my life too: in the education of my children and even in my hobbies.

I think this is why I really like the Bereans. When I read the account of Paul’s time with the Bereans, I smile and feel inspired.

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11

The Bereans examined the Scriptures. They were eager to learn more. They compared what Paul said to what the Scriptures said. The Bereans were living out a portion of the greatest commandment:

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31

I believe the Bereans are an example of loving God with all their hearts and all their minds. I hope to emulate the Berean people. I hope to love Jesus with a heart that is open to understanding and with a mind that is seeking truth.

Dear Lord, Help me to seek You by asking the right questions and recognizing the truthful answers. Teach me how to love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength. Amen

Diona

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Joshua 23; Acts 3; Jeremiah 12; Matthew 26

My attitude toward God is often one of asking him to do something for me, or to do something for someone else. Indeed, God wants us to pray for ourselves and others. He wants us to make the desires of our hearts known to him.

And yet there are times when I fail to act when God asks something of me. Now, it is true that it is not always easy to know when God is asking something of me. Is it God speaking? Is it a trap set by Satan to tempt me away from God’s true intention? Is this my own selfish desires? But sometimes I analyze too much and act too little.

Other times, what He is asking takes effort. To be honest, the effort is more than I am willing to give. Oh, how that hurts to realize its truth.

In Gethsemane, Jesus asks Peter, James and John to do something. He asks them to pray. Jesus is clear in his request. However, to pray they must stay awake. They fail.

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’” Matthew 26:36-37

“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter. ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.’” Matthew 26:40-41

Jesus goes away to pray and comes back to find them again sleeping.

Peter, James and John loved Jesus. Why could they not do what Jesus asked of them? I do not know.

Dear Lord, I love you and want to please you. When you ask something of me, I want to be willing to act. I am weak. My spirit is willing but my body is weak. I need you to overcome my weakness. You are able. Thank you for going through the agony of Gethsemane and paying the price for my salvation. Amen.    

Diona

 

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Joshua 4; Psalm129-131; Isaiah 64; Matthew 12

I find myself restless, yearning for more. More of what? I do not know. I read the following psalm and think, “Whoa, this is so NOT me.”

“But I have stilled and quieted my soul;

Like a weaned child with its mother,

Like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131-2

I am the opposite of this. My soul is rambling around, crying out.

I am reminded in Isaiah that my Father has created me. He has a unique purpose for me. He is shaping me, pushing and pulling me into a form made to serve Him.

“Yet, O lord, you are our Father.

We are the clay, you are the potter;

We are all the work of you hand.”

Isaiah 64:8

In this beautiful book of metaphors, I may be many things. Today I am clay.  Today I am a tree.

Jesus says in Matthew:

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” Matthew 12:33

Now I know that Jesus is in the business of making good trees. He wants his good trees to produce good fruit. Good trees don’t grow that way on their own. They need the loving care of a gardener. I am thankful my gardener is gentle.

My branches are stretching, seeking the sun. Looking for new places to grow. Hoping to bear good fruit.

Dear Lord, Help me to find what I am searching for. Use this restlessness to move me where you will have me. Out of the depths of my soul I cry to you:

“O Lord, hear my voice.

Let your ears be attentive

to my cry for mercy.” Psalm 130:1-2

Amen

Diona

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Deuteronomy 23; Psalm 112, 113; Isaiah 50; Revelation 20

I watched a documentary recently that spoke of actions that can only be characterized as evil. Long after watching the show, I am drawn back to the pain it described. My heart aches. I cry out to God. I don’t understand how people can do such things.

I look to Jesus for answers. I know how he feels about the evil deeds that cause his people pain. I know he loves his people.

And I know this: He has power. He has a plan. He will defeat Satan.

“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.” Revelation 20:10-14 (NIV)

Jesus will conquer and punish Satan. He will contend with people who do evil things. I trust Jesus to be the judge.

“Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.” Psalm 113:2-3 (NIV)

Dear Lord, There are many things about this present time that I do not understand. Help me stay focused on you. Thank you for defeating Satan at the time you have set. You are the Judge.  You are Holy.  I praise you always. Amen

Diona

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