Saturday, October 27, 2012

Trust…Proverbs 3:5-6 {Something to Think About}


Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Lord, thank You for teaching me to trust You…forgive me for the days I struggle and don’t do so well.

Please give me Your patience to wait on You.


You know I feel like I should be “doing” something while I wait. Remind me that trusting and waiting on You is doing something.
Help me to remember that You’ve got this…I don’t need to understand it.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Msg

Have a blessed day!

In Christ,
Laura

The Shelter of God's Promises-Wk 9

Have a blessed week!

In Christ,
Laura

Week  9– Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2012
The Promise
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. - Matthew 7:7-8 NIV 1984

Monday/Tuesday Read Chapter 9 “More…I Know There’s Something Better.”

Wednesday/Thursday – Work on the Bible study for Chapter 9 (pgs. 201-203)

Friday – Spend time in prayer and reflection. What do you want to remember from Chapter 9?

During the week

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I’m Here for You

Welcome, if you are reading Sheila Walsh’s book The Shelter of God’s Promises, we are in Chapter 8 this week, “Strength…I Feel Things Are Crashing Around Me.”

I struggled as I wrote this post. I knew what I wanted to say, but didn’t like how it was coming out. Every time I went back to my notes, I read them as if God was talking to me. Finally, I decided that’s how it should be written. I believe He wants to share the same with you.

Dear Laura,

I miss hearing from you. Talk to me. Tell me what’s on your mind and in your heart. Don’t be afraid to tell me anything and everything…You won’t surprise me or shock me—I already know and it’s okay. So come to me. Share with me. Let me help.

When you feel weak, I will strengthen you.

When you feel sad, I will hold you and comfort you.

When you are broken, I will put you back together…….better than new.

When you feel you are alone, you are not. I am with you. Always.

Please don’t go it alone. Life is so much harder that way.

If that’s what you choose, I will respect your decision. I will not force myself on you. But it doesn’t mean I like it……it just isn’t what I want for you.

What I want for you is to have a relationship with Me. Personal. One-on-one. You and Me. I know you intimately. I formed you. I know everything about you. Now get to know me.

Know that my promises are for you. All of them.

In this world, you will have trouble. Let me strengthen you. I will walk beside you and help you. (John 16:33, Psalm 18:32)

In the struggles you face, I am refining you. I am teaching you to depend on Me. I have big plans for you. But you need to trust Me. (Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 29:11)

In My time, I will let you see where I am leading you. But don’t rush ahead of Me. My plans work better if you let me go before you. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Remember that I will not leave you. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be discouraged. Be strong and courageous through Me. (Joshua 1:9)

Whatever you need, ask Me.

All My love, today and always,
God

What do you feel God sharing with you?

In Christ,
Laura

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hope Acrostic

Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.
Isaiah 49:23b NIV

H olding on to God’s promises, 
O pening myself to His Will, not mine. 
P raising and trusting Him in all things, 
E xcitedly waiting in anticipation for all that He has planned.

In Christ,
Laura

The Shelter of God's Promises-Wk 8

Have a great week!

In Christ,
Laura

Week  8– Oct. 21-27, 2012
The Promise
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. - John 16:33 NIV 1984

Monday/Tuesday Read Chapter 8 “Strength…I Feel Things Are Crashing Around Me.”

Wednesday/Thursday – Work on the Bible study for Chapter 8 (pgs. 200-201)

Friday – Spend time in prayer and reflection. What did this chapter mean to you?

During the week
·         Continue to journal your thoughts and make notes in your book.
·         Visit Laura Rath ~ Journey in Faith

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hope Is…

Hope is confident trust in God with expectant anticipation of what He will do and how His promises will be fulfilled.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 NIV

Hope is knowing that God’s promises are rock-solid and unchanging, especially when my emotions are all over the place.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:23 NLT

Hope is knowing I can trust God with and in everything, even as He gives me the strength and time I need to adjust to life’s changes.

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT

Hope is knowing that when life is taking everything out of me, He won’t let it consume me.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. Lamentations 3:22 NIV

Hope is knowing that God can and will bring good from everything, even the pain I’m going through.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT

Hope is knowing God walks with me through the unfamiliar and unwanted territories in life.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Hope is knowing God will meet me wherever I am, and He loves me too much to leave me there.

You were in serious trouble, but you prayed to the Lord, and he rescued you. He made the storm stop and the sea be quiet. Psalm 107:28-29 CEV

Hope is knowing that this season in my life will not last forever. He’s already planning the next season.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Hope is knowing God is in control, and I don’t have to be. [Tweet this]

Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46:10 NLT

Thank you for joining me here today. If you are reading Sheila Walsh’s book The Shelter of God’s Promises, we are in Chapter 7 “Hope…I’m Broken.” What Scripture verse do you find hope in?

In Christ,
Laura

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Shelter of God's Promises-Wk 7

Welcome! If you are studying Sheila Walsh’s book The Shelter of God’s Promises, is there a chapter or topic that has especially resonated with you?

From the last chapter on grace, I especially like the part about Peter. Jesus knew Peter would deny Him three times, but He prayed for Peter—not that Peter wouldn’t do it, but for when He turned back. He prayed for when Peter would return to Him, knowing that He would return. How incredible to know that Jesus does that for us also!

And then at the tomb, when the angel told the women to tell the disciples and Peter. In other words, make sure Peter knows Jesus still loves him and includes him as His disciple. Jesus extends that same grace to us. To you. And to me.

What part has spoken to you? Will you share it in the comment section?

Have a great week!
In Christ,
Laura

Week  7– Oct. 14-20, 2012
The Promise
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” - Hebrews 13:5-6 NIV 1984

Monday/Tuesday Read Chapter 7 “Hope…I’m Broken.”

Wednesday/Thursday – Work on the Bible study for Chapter 7 (pgs. 199-200)

Friday – Reflect back on the reading and spend time in prayer. Catch up on the reading, if needed.

During the week
·         Make notes in your book or journal your thoughts, Scripture verses, and points you want to remember. What really stood out for you from Chapter 7?
·        Visit Laura Rath ~ Journey in Faith

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Feeling Discouraged?

Welcome! I’m pleased to be over at 5 Minutes for Faith today talking about feeling discouraged and what we can do about it. Here’s the beginning of what you’ll find…

There are days I feel discouraged.
Days when nothing I do seems to matter and I wonder why I bother.
Days when what I think are God’s plans for me don’t make sense and I question if I misunderstood.
Days I know the enemy is working on my thinking, and yet, I can’t seem to stop the attack which leads to self-doubt.
Discourage—to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit. (dictionary.com)   
When I feel discouraged, I feel like giving up...
To read the rest of my post, join me at 5 Minutes for Faith. And if you would, please leave a comment. I’d love to know you stopped by! 

In Christ,
Laura

Tweet to share this post on discouragement and what we can do about it.

Linking up with WholeHearted Home WednesdayLife in BloomThought Provoking Thursday, and Faith Filled Friday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Grace and Baggage

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
Have you ever had one of those times when you have a topic on your mind and then it seems to appear in front of you?

Yep, that happened to me when I started reading this week’s chapter about grace. Just the day before I started reading, and without even thinking about or remembering the chapter, I’d been wondering…why does it seem easier to extend grace and forgiveness to a stranger or someone I barely know, than to a loved one? It doesn’t make sense. Or does it?

Baggage.

All that “stuff” that follows us from our past—the “stuff” we wish we could forget and leave behind where it belongs.

The baggage of repeated mistakes that make me think the apology I hear won’t be any different from the past ones. The baggage of repeated behavior that makes me not trust that anything will change.

Someone I barely know has baggage. Everyone does. But, the difference is…I don’t know about it. When I don’t know about that “stuff,” I have no reason to think that person isn’t sincere.

But it’s our loved ones, the repeat offenders, that make me hold onto my grace. As if I have a stockpile of it, ready to divvy out when I think the time is right.

Maybe it’s out of fear of being hurt, exhaustion of ongoing circumstances, or even spite, that I don’t want to put myself on the line. But the thing is—I don’t own grace. God doesn’t give each of us each some grace, expecting that it won’t all be given in one place.

Grace is not grace if it is deserved. If I think I deserve grace, then I’m trying to earn it, which means what I receive is not grace.

If I’m waiting for someone to prove they should receive grace from me, then what I’m holding back is not grace. It’s conditional love.

What if God did that? (I hate to think about it!)

The Good News is God doesn’t withhold grace. He showers it over us. He lavishes us in it.

Absolute unconditional love.

His perfect love expressed through His Son, Jesus.

Whereas I’m not sure I can forgive someone because I may or may not know everything, God does know.

He knows every single detail of our lives. Good and bad. Our pride and our shame.

And still He covers us in His grace.

His. Perfect. Forgiving. Undeserved. Grace.

He asks us to do the same. For those we barely know. And those we’re closest to.

And what’s more is when I can’t do it—when I don’t have it in me to forgive and extend grace—He does.

He won’t force me, but when I ask, He’s ready to supply me with what I need. Grace and forgiveness. Undeserved love for another. Over and over, as many times as I need, until my heart is changed.
But he replied, “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. 2 Corinthians 12:9 CEV
His power is strongest when I am weak.

When I can’t get past the pain to forgive, He has the strength I need.

When all I have is conditional love for someone, He has unconditional love for me and my someone else.

When I am weak, He is strong and powerful.

When I have nothing, His grace shines over me.

And it is all I need.

Thank you for joining me here today. Our chapter this week in Sheila Walsh’s The Shelter of God’s Promises is Chapter 6 “Grace…I Have Failed.”

In Christ,
Laura

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hope and Safety {Something to Think About}

Having hope will give you courage.
You will be protected and will rest in safety.
Job 11:18 NLT

You will rest safe and secure,
filled with hope and emptied of worry.
Job 11:18 CEV

Have a hope-filled day!

In Christ,
Laura

The Shelter of God's Promises-Wk 6

Have a great week!

In Christ,
Laura

Week  6– Oct. 7-13, 2012
The Promise
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. - 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV 1984

Monday/Tuesday Read Chapter 6 “Grace…I have Failed.”

Wednesday/Thursday – Work on the Bible study for Chapter 6 (pgs. 197-199)

Friday – Reflect back on the reading and spend time in prayer. What do you want to remember from Chapter 6?

During the week
·         Make notes in your book or journal your thoughts, Scripture verses, and points you want to remember.
·         Visit Laura Rath ~ Journey in Faith
·         Visit A Day of Grace bySheila Walsh

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Verses of God’s Love and Promises (Part Two)

Welcome! We are in Chapter 5 this week, “Love…I Don’t Believe That Anyone Could Really Love Me” of Sheila Walsh’s book The Shelter of God’s Promises.

Earlier this week, my post (Part One) focused on Scripture verses that speak of Jesus’s love for us.

Today (Part Two) I’m sharing verses of Jesus’s promises to us…

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

For I hold you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’  Isaiah 41:13

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:4

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. Psalm 91:14-15

And Jesus’s power over Satan…

For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory! Deuteronomy 20:4

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against might powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:10-18

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

*All verses from the New Living Translation, in no particular order.

What are your favorite Scripture verses when you think of His love for us, His promises to us, and His power over the enemy?

In Christ,
Laura

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

God Will Amaze Us

Welcome! I’m writing about Moses and the Israelites today on the Gloria Dei blog, as we continue to read through The Story as a congregation. Here’s the beginning of my post…
Are you familiar with the saying “It’s going to get worse before it gets better?” It’s usually said as a way to make us feel better…“This seems to be worse than it was before, but then it has to get better.”
Although they didn’t know it at the time, this certainly seemed to be the case for the Israelites in Egypt. 
The Lord told Moses to go talk to Pharaoh. Moses was obedient and went with Aaron to see Pharaoh. But later that day, life only got worse for the Israelites.
Pharaoh changed the rules. Instead of straw for the bricks being supplied, Pharaoh ordered the Israelite slaves to find the straw themselves and still make the same number of bricks as before. In other words, they had more work to do, with the same quota of bricks to be completed, in the same amount of time. And the slave drivers appointed by Pharaoh didn’t take kindly to the work not being completed on time.
Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.” Exodus 5:22-23 NIV
Moses was discouraged. The Israelites were discouraged. But where this lower story did not make any sense on its own, the upper story tells of God’s plan for His people.
To read how the Lord responded to Moses and my post in its entirety, please follow me over to the Gloria Dei blog… And if you would, let me know of your visit by leaving a comment. Thanks!

In Christ,
Laura


More on The Story...



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Verses of God’s Love and Promises (Part One)

Welcome! This week we are in Chapter 5 “Love…I Don’t Believe That Anyone Could Really Love Me” of Sheila Walsh’s book The Shelter of God’s Promises.

My post is different this week. Instead of my thoughts, I want to focus on what Scripture says in the three areas of this chapter:

-Jesus’s love for us
-Jesus’s promises to us
-Jesus’s power over Satan.

Spiritual warfare is real. Satan will do anything he can to make us doubt God’s love for us, but in Jesus’s name, Satan flees. That’s why we need to arm ourselves with God’s Word, to read it, know it, and believe it. Say it out loud. Personalize the verses with your name. Pray them.

For example:
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 NLT
Jesus, I can’t do this on my own. I’m not capable. But I know through your strength, I can accomplish it.
There are many verses I want to share with you here, so I’m going to start today with Jesus’s love for us. On Thursday, I’ll share the verses for Jesus’s promises to us and Jesus’s power over Satan.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:4-8
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17
“For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you. Isaiah 54:10
For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. Lamentations 3:31-32
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Ephesians 3:18-19
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38
 *All verses from the New Living Translation, in no particular order.

God’s Word is filled with verses of His love for us. Will you share a Scripture verse that moves you? Please leave a comment below.

In Christ,
Laura