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Archive for the ‘Challenge verse’ Category

 
Love the Lord your God
 with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your mind
and find out what pleases the Lord.
 
Matthew 22:37 & Ephesians 5:10
 
 
 
Loving somebody and wanting to please them go hand in hand.  This is a natural connection — a relationship connection that the Lord wants to have with us.  Recently, I have been noticing many verses that mention some form of the word “please,”and I would like to share some of them with you:
 
We have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.  And this is his command: to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. (1 John 3:21-23)
 
Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (Romans 8:8)
 
Jesus said, “The one who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him.”  (John 8:29)
 
I urge you in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)
 
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. (Romans 14:17-18)
 
My righteous one will live by faith.  I will not be pleased with the one who shrinks back. (Hebrews 10:39)
 
We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:1)
 
Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all
spiritual wisdom and understanding.  And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9-10)
 
And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” (Exodus  33:17)
 
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
 
“Is this pleasing in your sight Lord?” is a question that should filter our thoughts and actions.  A great love for the Lord is the motivation for wanting every aspect of our lives to be pleasing to Him.
 

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God’s Words

“… my words remain in you …”
 
~Jesus
 
 
During this first month of 2013, I have been talking to my children about ways that we can keep more of God’s words in our hearts and minds.  We have also been talking about why it is important to do so.  My goal for my family is this: each day we will hear or read one or more verses from the Bible.  The phrase from John 15:7, “my words remain in you,” has shaped this goal.  To reach our goal, we have to make deliberate behavioral choices.  Ideally, I would like to read my children a Bible story each day, but often (for various reasons) it doesn’t happen.  However, I try to create a climate where hearing God’s word is natural part of our day.  We talk about different verses throughout the day, and when we are in the car, we sometimes listen to a recording of the book of Psalms.  After dinner, sometimes we read from one of the gospels or from the book of Proverbs.  I try to provide a variety of ways for my kids to interact with scripture so they won’t feel like it is a burden or boring.  If we have had an extremely busy day and they haven’t heard any of God’s words during the day, I like to add a scripture to our traditional bedtime song and prayer.  Having this goal of hearing and reading God’s word each day helps me keep my children, and as well as myself, receiving daily spiritual nourishment.
 
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourself to be my disciples. John 15:7
 
 
Dedicated to my mom, Charlotte on her 70th birthday.  I have wonderful memories of my mom reading me Bible stories, reading me Little Visits with God at breakfast, and reading family devotionals after dinner.  As I was growing up, my mom helped me hear God’s words every day. 
 

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Through Jesus let us continually offer
 
to God a sacrifice of praise.
 
Hebrews 13:15
 
 
As we enter the Advent season, let it be a time of sacrificial praise. 
 
Praise be to the Lord because He has come to rescue us and enable us to serve us Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.  Praise be to the Lord, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.  Adapted from Luke 2:68-79 
 
 
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You,
who walk in the light of Your presence, O Lord.
Psalm 89:15
 

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What counts is whether we have been
transformed into a new creation.
~
Galatians 6:15
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My sons enjoy playing with “Transformers”, so I like to tell them that God is the Master Transformer.  I explain that God doesn’t change, but He transforms us by changing the way we think (Romans 12:2).  This transformation is a radical process!
~
God wants to transform each of us into people who:
These things are only possible through God’s creative power.
~
On Ash Wednesday, I shared a YouTube video about butterflies to a group of children.  We talked about how butterflies can be a symbol for Easter and how Lent is like being in a chrysalis (a time that God can change us) and how Easter is a time for celebrating God’s life-changing power.  I think the butterfly is the most incredible example of God’s ability to transform.  The caterpillar has to be broken down and reconstructed before the beautiful butterfly can be created.
~
Please take a moment to watch this video clip about butterflies. My hope is that by watching this video, you will be awed at God’s power to bring about change and reminded that an astonishing metamorphosis can also take place in your life.
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Let God transform you into a new person
 by changing the way you think.  Romans 12:2
~
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Dedicated to Lea and Melanie, my book club friends, who inspired this post and shared this video at the Word Made Flesh Advent 2011 Retreat
~

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Defend the weak & the fatherless;
 
uphold the cause of the poor
 
& the oppressed.
~
Psalm 82:3
 
 
 
Ty Osman II had a passion for helping the poor.  He developed this passion by imitating his parents, who began taking him with them on their annual mission trips to Honduras when he was ten years old.  Ty’s family returned to the same village, and over the years Ty became extremely attached to the children.  When they saw one another, it seemed as though they had never been apart.  This year, those children will be asking the question, “Where is Ty?”  While we can hope their heartache will be eased by knowing Ty is in a glorious place, we can continue Ty’s work by contributing to the needs of the orphans.
 ~
Both Hands, an amazing non-profit organization that helps both orphans and widows, is honoring Ty and providing us with a way to contribute. Here is information from their website:
Nashville Big Build 2012 in Memory of Ty Osman II
A team of volunteers will be working on a widow’s house to help raise money for an orphanage in Honduras. 550 children live and attend school on the Escalon Project Campus in La Entrada, Honduras.100% of the money raised from our Nashville Big Build project will help provide education, food, housing, and facilities for this orphanage.
~
Since Ms. Sharon’s husband passed away, it has become difficult to keep up with the necessary improvements and repairs to her home.

So on April 14, a team of volunteers will be working on her home. Think of fundraisers where people raise sponsorship for a charity golf tournament or 5K race. Only with this project, instead of golfing or running, we’ll be helping a widow in need.

The widow benefits, an orphanage in Honduras is blessed, and a group of individuals are able to spend the day serving others. The more money raised, the more children can be provided for through this orphanage in Honduras.
~
Ty Osman II was a young man of character with a true servant’s heart. He brought laughter and joy to everyone he met. Ty passionately served others, and in all things, he glorified the Lord. He took annual trips with his family to serve at an orphanage. The 2012 Nashville Big Build Project is named in memory of Ty Osman II.
This past Sunday, I visited Ty’s church where the preacher Dean Barham showed us a way that all of us can give more. He told us that the early Christians would fast for a few days and then give the money they saved to those in need.
And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food.
–The Apology of Aristides ~ 130 AD
I would like to propose a challenge: for the next month, let’s fast from “fast food” and give that money to continue Ty’s love and work with the orphans in Honduras. 
~~
How can you help?
Join the Both Hands Team for the Nashville Big Build
In Memory of Ty Osman II!~
 

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A Time to Mourn …
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Ecclesiastes 3:4
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Oh, how I wish that mourning were not a part of our lives here on earth.  I wish it weren’t time to mourn for the incredible young man Ty Osman II.  For those of us who know Ty, it is our time to mourn and grieve, and to remember and reflect about what we can learn from his life.  For those of you who don’t know Ty, I would like to share a few of the many things that are being said about him. 
Ty …
  • Radiantly full of joy
  • Fun to be with
  • Loved God with all of his heart
  • A servant to the poor
  • Full of goodness, kindness and love
  • A defender of the weak
  • Splendid man of God
~
Every day Ty sought others out, to know them, include them, and invite them into a relationship.  To be pursued and known – what a gift.  Ty’s life modeled what God initiates every day with me … seeks, invites and includes.  Sorrow pours from my heart, but peace resides knowing Ty is with the one who knows and loves him best …  Ty’s life is truly an example of God’s love.  With all my heart, I am thankful for his example of finding joy in being with others and pursuing ALL of his relationships with abandonment.
  — Christiana Liddle
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When it comes time for your loved ones to mourn for you, what words do you want said about you?
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I am making everything new.  Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  Revelation 21:5 & 4
~

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My eyes are dim with grief. 
I call to you, Lord, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
 
 Psalm 88:9
~
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On Friday night, I went to bed thinking about Psalm 88:9 and asking myself the question,”Can you ever be prepared for grief?” On Saturday, I woke up to the news that Ty, the son of my close friends Ty and Nancy, had been in a serious car accident and was on life support.  Then this morning, I received the gut-wrenching news, “Ty is gone.  They are donating his organs.”
~
The devastating sorrow I now feel is answering my own question: “No, you can never be prepared for grief.  You can only be prepared to receive comfort by knowing the source of true comfort.”
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No guilt in life, no fear in death —
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from his hand;
Till he returns or calls me home —
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
~
  by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
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“So we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” — Paul
~
~
In honor of Ty Osman II
A beautiful man of God

 

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