Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Where are you in the Word?

My hubby/pastor has always said when that certain boy comes up and shows interest in our daughter, he plans to ask, "Son, where are you in the Word?"

That makes me laugh and think that I'm glad I'm not the boy who has to face that daddy. But, shouldn't we be able to answer this question?

There have been times in my life my answer would have been, "Uh, well ..." You get the picture - a whole lot of stammering. To be a thriving Christian, I should be able to answer this question right off.

Recently, my women's Bible study class and I started a new Bible study by Lysa Terkeurst. I will admit, the first thing that attracted me to this study was the title and the subtitle - Becoming More Than a Bible Study Girl - Living the Faith After the Bible Class is Over.

This idea struck me and then it convicted me. Am I guilty of gorging myself on God's Word during the study but with nothing to show afterwards? Does any of the teaching stick?

God's Word is an instruction book, meaning it is not only to be read but put into practice. Here's how James puts it in James 1:23+

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." NIV

"Don't fool yourself into thinking you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like." The Message

Terkeurst adds to this; "The more we allow ourselves to be filled up with God's Word, the more consumed - positively absorbed - we'll be with God Himself."

In light of these things, maybe we should ask each other where we are in the Word. We might need a little accountability like that to keep us on track so we don't just read the Word and forget it. And, what a glorious thought that the more we feast on His Word, the more we'll be filled with God.

So, where are you in the Word?

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Lesson from our Forefathers

On this President's Day, I noticed some interesting quotes as I perused Facebook. One particularly caught my eye and I just had to share it. It had a picture of George Washington and a quote which mentioned the need for God and His Word.

That immediately reminded me of a verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says, "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land."

I try not to dwell on the way our country has made wrong things seem right and right things seem wrong. But, these are the things that make up the wicked ways that are spoken of in the verse. It is not right to legislate things that are in blatant contrast to what the Word of God says. This is sin. There is no amount of sugar-coating it.

God's Word is not out of date. There was no date stamped on it as to when it would become irrelevant. In this world it is so easy to be desensitized to God's way. His way isn't the popular one. But, Jesus warned about this. Being a Christian, a follower of Christ, is not popular. We are viewed as closed-minded and not tolerant.

Oh, that we could return to those principles that our forefathers established this country upon. Guess what? It wasn't their popular opinion. They truly believed "In God We Trust" and "one nation under God."

True, I am only one person, but I can follow the call from God in 2 Chronicles. I can humble myself in prayer and seek God's face. I can turn from any sins I've committed, especially those in which I've just closed my eyes to what happens around me. God hears His children. This verse promises that.

I can't turn a whole nation around by myself but I can have an affect on my family and those I have influence upon. I can pray in humility and seek God's face and His Word for my life. I can be His witness to a sick world, lost in wicked ways.

Take it from George Washington, we need God and His Word.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Reflect His Glory

In my reading through the Bible, I'm up to the section in Exodus where Moses asks God to show him His glory. I have always loved and been fascinated by this portion of scripture.

God does reveal His glory by placing Moses in the cleft of a rock, shielding him with His hand, and then allowing Moses to see His back. When Moses came down from the mountain, the Bible says his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. Scripture also says that after that whenever Moses would enter into the Lord's presence, the people noticed that his face was radiant.

There was a visible indication that Moses had been with God. His face shone with radiance. At first the people were afraid and Moses had to call to them so they would realize who he was. Moses' very countenance was different after being with God.

Does that fascinate anyone else? In other parts of scripture it is said that Moses spoke with God face to face as a friend to a friend and yet this was no ordinary friend. When in this Friend's company, Moses left with God's glory reflected off his face.

Okay, stop right there. We as Christians are to reflect God's glory. Contemplating Moses' example, how can we do this? We must be in His presence. In communion with God. We must be in relationship with Him.

If we do radiate with God's glory, will people cower? I'm afraid that people today will cower in a different sense. Unbelievers might see God's glory in you and be repelled. Light and radiance illuminates the dark. The dark and the light can't exist together. So, don't expect those who aren't Christians to like this radiance.

Don't always expect those fellow Christians to like this radiance either. This reflection can show a lacking in pursuing the presence and relationship of God. Some are just too busy or afraid what they might be asked to do or give up in order to experience this radiance.

Let's strive for that relationship Moses had with God, not going for the sake of gaining the radiance on our faces. But, asking to see His glory to experience a deeper and deeper intimacy with the Ultimate Friend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Bride for the Sheriff

Jewell Tweedt really delivers in her book, A Bride for the Sheriff. By really delivers I mean that this book has so much to offer. There are distinctive characters set against an historical background. You'll find a combination of suspense and romance. Tweedt will leave you waiting eagerly for the next installment of this Nebraska Brides series.

The idea for A Bride for the Sheriff came to me in an unusual place, my hotel room in Las Vegas, Nevada  15 years ago. Usually when people think of Las Vegas an image of bright lights, dinging slot machines, loud people and an abundance of adult beverages comes to mind. To me it is noisy and pretentious. I much prefer the quiet, wide open spaces of the Midwest.
 At that time I was a buyer for a large Midwestern department store chain and was in the city for business. I’d put in a long day of reviewing merchandise and writing orders. By night all I wanted to do was go back to my room, put up my feet and fall into a good book. 
The paperback I had with me didn’t hold my attention and I got to thinking I could do better. Now I laugh at that because I have learned that writing is a very difficult process. I wrote the first chapters quickly, tucked them in my briefcase and when I returned to Omaha tucked them in a drawer and forgot about them.

Several years later I retrieved them, started over, incorporated some experiences I’d had and A Bride for the Sheriff is the result. My hope is that readers will be entertained with a story of a woman’s struggle in a man’s world, and be reminded that women can overcome challenges with faith and hard work and even learn a bit about frontier history. I used family names and my home town of Omaha, Nebraska as a tribute to that wild frontier town and my pioneer heritage and because it was just plain fun. I hope readers enjoy the story.  

Jewell Tweedt was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, the setting for the Nebraska Brides series. She lives in western Iowa and divides her time between teaching middle school students and writing. In her spare time she reads, gardens and grades papers. Lots of papers.  Readers can learn more about Jewell and her books at http://www.tweedtjewell.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 2, 2015

Spirit Ed

Check out my post over on the Life to the Fullest blog.

I'm talking about Spirit Ed.