Monday, January 28, 2013

A Verse to Chew On

Life has gotten in the way a bit...that ever happen to you? 

You start the New Year off with a fresh start...inspiration...and a list of things you wish to accomplish or try.

Then something happens.  Sometimes it's a big something...sometimes just a series of little somethings.  The somethings might be good or bad or a concoction of both...but before you know it your best laid plans have been pushed to the side as you have been sidetracked or become slave to the tyranny of the urgent.

Does that sound dramatic or simply true? 

I didn't have a host of endeavors lined out for the new year.  One thing I did want to aim for was being more consistent in blogging...I haven't quite hit the target on that one.  Good news is, I can start again wherever I may find myself! :)

And so I find myself at the beginning of a new week and that means it's time for a new Verse to Chew On!

YOU keep track of all my sorrows.  YOU have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
This I know: GOD is on my side!
Psalm 56:8,9
(emphasis added)

Sometimes those somethings can not only sidetrack us from the best laid plans for our, they can make us sad...bring sorrow...produce tears.  Have you ever had those somethings pop up in your life, uninvited, unannounced, unwelcomed?  Rhetorical question.  Of course each and every one of us have.  That's what comes of life lived in a fallen world.

This verse brings me comfort and hope, peace and joy.  It reminds me that God sees me...when I feel invisible...or abandoned.  It reminds me that the tears I shed are valuable to Him because I am.  I may never know, this side of heaven, why a certain something(s) decided to make an appearance in my life.  And when these somethings come to visit I rarely know when they plan to leave.  But this I do know, God is on my side!

And He is on your side too.

I love these antique bottles pictured above.  Each one is unique.  Each one is a work of art.  In my imagination (this is not a concept that you can find chapter and verse for) God houses each one of our tears (metaphorically) in a bottle as unique and beautiful as these.  God sees us a valuable...He is not only the Lifter of our heads when sorrows come, He is the Lover of our souls when tears are the only suitable expression of our heartache and frustrations, anger and fear.

God loves you. God loves me.  He is on your side.  He is on my side.  Circumstances may not magically disappear, but God (I love those two words together) is with you...with me.  We can trust that He will never leave us. He is forever faithful.  He has a plan.  He can redeem even the messiest of somethings.  He can take those unwanted sorrows and uncontained tears, bottle them up and turn them into something beautiful.

We just need to trust in Jesus...pour out our sorrows and tears to Him...keep our eyes fixed on Him and not the circumstance...invite Him to change us even more than inviting Him to change the somethings...He is on our side!
I hope this week's Verse finds you happy and healthy...maybe this piece of the Bible is one that you can tuck away for a rainy day.
If, however, it comes to you in the midst of one of those somethings chew on this:  Your something may have surprised you, but it didn't take God off guard.  The Bible tells us that Jesus is acquainted firsthand with our sorrows - find comfort in the fact that He knows.  Invite the Holy Spirit to turn your heart's cry into tears of joy as you proclaim by faith that God is on your side!
Praying for you,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Food 4 Thot Friday

Hey there!  Hope this post finds you doing well and your New Year off to a great start!

Many of us begin the New Year with a refreshed desire to make some changes to our lives...some call these changes Resolutions...others My Gift to Jesus...and some of us will just call our plans a Do-Over.

Most of us girls, as we flip open a new calendar, desire to shed some unwanted weight.  I am one of those girls.  I have come to realize that reducing the poundage on my body is a three part process. It's more than restricting my diet and buffeting my body with exercise.  To feel be at my best have optimal health I need to engage my Spirit, Soul and Body for success.  Which, when you think about it, makes total sense.  We are comprised of all three parts and all three parts need to work together in harmony to not only achieve this desired goal but also to maintain it.

Food 4 Thot will help with this.  If you are not in need of a more fit body and have chosen something else to focus on in this new year this regular Friday post will help you too!  Almost every slice of Bible served here can be applied to whatever you might be working on.

First off, here are a few tidbits about this weekly post...

Food 4 Thot ~ as a Title...1) I had a group of friends meeting in my home a while back for this purpose and when I would text them info about the group I was too lazy type all the words out correctly on my 'dumb' phone so I would abbreviate this stuck. 2) It comes from Romans 12:1-2a, "Therefore I urge you...sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."  This post will give us a portion of God's Word every week to help us renew our minds...and thus transform our bodies.

Food 4 Thot ~ as a Post...1) This will be just 1 tool that you can use to help you on your journey.  As stated above I will be giving us a verse to help us renew our thinking...and to focus our selves on Jesus during the process.  2) In addition I will try to include something helpful and encouraging, from a practical application stand point most weeks. 3) This post is purposefully designed to appear on Fridays. Don't know about you, but for me the weekend with it's lack of routine that the rest of the week usually provides can challenge my discipline.  So, having this post to get my 'head in the game' as I head into the weekend is helpful.

That about sums up what to expect here! 

To get us started this week our 1st bite of Scripture happens to be one of my fav's and is foundational to ApronStrings Ministries.

Oh, Taste and See that the LORD is Good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Oh, fear the LORD all you saints, for those who fear Him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Psalm 34:8-10

Those of you who read this week's Verse To Chew On may see a few similarities here. (Scroll down to read it if you didn't).

Here are a couple of things to think on as you look at this piece of the Bible...thoughts I had as I meditated on this and looked in my Commentaries.

*Taste & See = Try & Experience the beauty of God's Being (His Glory) and the bounty of His Grace
*Fear = An awe inspired worship of God which includes being conscience of my duty to Him in everything.
*As I taste & see, take refuge in and worship God my Father will feed me His comfort food and I will lack 'no good thing'.  If there is anything that I desire that God, in His infinite wisdom, denies me I can trust that He will give me the grace to be content without it!  This applies to life in general...and can surely fill in the lack on my plate if I am counting points or eliminating certain food groups as I work on being healthier!

Just for fun...and because I think it helps with getting Scripture into our lives, here's our passage in a couple of different translations...
Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.
Worship God if you want the best;
worship opens doors to all his goodness. Young lions on the prowl get hungry,
but God-seekers are full of God.
The Message
O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.
O fear the Lord, you His saints [revere and worship Him]! For there is no want to those who truly revere and worship Him with godly fear.
 The young lions lack food and suffer hunger, but they who seek (inquire of and require) the Lord [by right of their need and on the authority of His Word], none of them shall lack any beneficial thing.
So that's that for this week.  I hope that this helps you in your plan.  Here's to a Healthy New Year for us all!

Serving Him and you,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Verse to Chew On...for the New Year!

Each week I try to give us a little bite of Scripture...a little Taste so that we can See that the Lord is Good...a little something for us to Chew On ~mull over, memorize, apply~ to our day and week.

Today I'm going to give you a Verse to Chew On for this week that can be your theme verse for this New Year if you'd like!

As the end of one year and the beginning of another approaches I like to carve out some quiet time with the Lord and be deliberate about asking Him for a word for the New Year.

By word I mean literally 'a word' and also a bit of 'His Word' for me to hold on to.  This year I had two words (jackpot!) begin to roll over and over again in my heart...& then they seemed to pop up everywhere!  I heard them on the radio, saw them in magazines, and caught glimpses of them even in department stores.  My words for this year are Glory & Grace!  I am so excited about studying those out over the next twelve months...asking Jesus why He laid them on my heart...being surprised by new definitions and revelations of familiar parts of my vocabulary. 

You just might be thinking I'm on a bunny trail with my 'words'...I'm not.  Those two words are also in the slice of His Word that God served up for me for 2013...our Verse To Chew On...

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory.  No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11 KJV
As you Chew on this Verse here are a few things to think on...little bits and pieces from my Study Bible Notes, Commentaries and Bible Dictionaries.
Sun = God gives the Light of life, He Enlightens us, Enlivens, Directs & Guides us.  He Warms us.
Shield = God is our Protector...providing Protection and Security.
Grace = God's Favor & Fruit in our lives, Kindness & Beauty, that which is Pleasant & Precious. It's the Goodwill of God towards us...and His Good Work in us.
Glory = Honor given to us by God as His Adopted Children and the Recipients of His is weighty (in a good sense...we don't want to loose this in the New Year) and His Splendor Revealed To us and Through us.
No Good Thing does He Withhold = this is a Comprehensive Promise of Infinite Wisdom.  God will withhold what He sees as not good for us but will grant the good in His perfect timing for those who prefer Him and His Worship to everything that the earth/world system can produce.
To Those Who Walk Uprightly = that is Those whose Faith is Genuine - living a Life that Aims at doing God's Will.  Living in His Light, the Faithful enjoy Good Things only to the degree in which they express the Life of the Upright.
So ask yourself the questions I'll be asking myself this week and through out the year...How does it make me feel to know the God who is all that a sun & shield represents?  How does it feel to be blessed by all that is His Grace & Glory?  What is my response to that?  A desire to walk ask Jesus to show me how to do empower me to walk more like Him in this New Year that He's blessed me with!
Please let me know here or on the Facebook link if this verse resonates with you...and if you got your own word(s) from HIM and/or a serving of His Word for 2013...I would love to hear what He's saying to you!
Happy New Year!