Saturday, December 15, 2012

Celebrating Scripture Memory Verse 24!!

Celebrate good times!  Come on!  It's a celebration!!

What a year!!  The Lord has been so gracious to me.  It's overwhelming at times, truly.  He and I have had some moments this 2012.  Looking back now, I can clearly see why His Spirit urged me to memorize Psalm 139 this year.  It has gotten me through some of the hardest days I've seen in a while.

But even more than that, it has been an amazing learning experience to realize how God feels about me.  That passage, Psalm 139, is a beautiful description written by David that vividly depicts God's knowledge of me, His love for me, and how overwhelmingly important I am to Him.  So many times, throughout the year, I have needed this reminder as insecurities, heartbreaks, close calls, and betrayals have plagued my life.  This may sound a bit dramatic, but really, my hard times haven't been much different than anybody else's.  Life is hard.  And in this world, there will be trouble.  All of us know that.  Some of us more than others.

If you were able to learn some Scripture this year, I know you've been able to see how God uses it when we most need it.  I would love to hear how that's worked for you this year.  Please consider sharing your testimony with me if you're comfortable.  If not, would you consider sending me an email letting me know how God has worked in your 2012 life?  Especially, I would love to hear how God's Word has gotten you through this year.

Instead of leaving you with my last verse for the year, I'd like to close out this Scripture Memory Challenge for 2012 with the entire Psalm 139 passage.  I'm writing it from memory.  My Lord God gets all the glory for that.  My punctuation will not be exact, but the words are what I take with me. 

Thank you for taking this challenge with me.  Merry Christmas to you all and by all means, don't stop memorizing now.  Take this habit with you throughout the rest of your days.  God's Word never returns void.  I'm a living testament to that!!

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise.  You perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down.  You are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue, you Lord, know it completely.  You hem me in behind and before and you lay your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.  Where can I go from your spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there.  If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me.  Your right hand will hold me fast.  If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you.  The night will shine like the day.  For darkness is as light to you.  For you created my inmost being.  You knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Your works are wonderful.  I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth..  Your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them!  If I were to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.  When I awake, I am still with you.  If only you, God, would slay the wicked.  Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!  They speak of you with evil intent.  Your adversaries misuse your name.  Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord?  And abhor those who are in rebellion against you?  I have nothing but hatred for them.  I count them my enemies.  Search me,God, and know my heart.  Test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. -Psalm 139 (NIV)

Your friend - a work in progress,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

See? Here's the trouble...

I wish I knew the number of times I've updated a status on Facebook just to only go back a few minutes later or maybe a couple of hours later and delete it.  Has anyone else done that?  At first, I'll type it out and pat myself on the back for sounding so clever or funny.  And then after I've come down from my narcissistic high, reality will set in and suddenly I feel exposed as if I've been caught with toilet paper stuck to my shoe.

Remember when Facebook felt a little more innocent? Like when it first came you could go to your Facebook wall and collect those witty pins that said I Love My Husband and I Wear Flip-Flops Year-Round?  Remember when someone would write on your wall?!  It felt as good as receiving a hand-written letter in the mail.  You felt chosen.  You felt thought-of.  Dang it!  You felt special!  Am I right?! 

Now, being on Facebook brings on more emotions than I'd like to admit.  For the record, I'm not bashing Facebook what-so-ever.  For the most part, I love it.  By nature, I'm a very social person.  Being a stay-at-home mom, sometimes interacting on Facebook is the only adult communication I'll have on a regular basis.  I could list a ton of great things about Facebook.  Lately, I have found myself being hyper-sensitive to the things I've posted and the things I've seen come through my News Feed.  I think the point I'm struggling to get to with this blog post is this...

We live in a world with more negativity than we can handle.  And as women, our heads are slapped full with critical words and thoughts.  If I'm not careful, I can let social media dictate how I feel about myself, my life, my parenting, and my physique.  The list could go on and on.  I wonder what would happen if we really saw our Facebook friends as just that...friends.  Instead of using our Facebook status as a way to push our own agendas, we started using our words to encourage and uplift.  Wouldn't it be neat to see our News Feeds full of positive and encouraging words instead of sarcastic and critical comments?

Too Utopian you might say?  And maybe you're right.  Maybe the Christmas Spirit is speaking here or maybe I've had too much coffee this morning.  Either way, it's where I am today...knowing that a Greater Good does exist in each of our lives and being hopeful that we all find it and use it towards something that counts.  So, perhaps if you're feeling down today and the voices of this world seem to be screaming at your heart, take a minute to find the One Voice that truly matters and ask Him to show you how you can be a Light in this dark world.

Even if it is on Facebook.



Saturday, December 1, 2012

Scripture Memory Verse 23

Well, friends, can you believe it is December?! 

Today, I will post my next to last verse for the year.  A blog post would not be suffice in telling you how learning this particular passage, Psalm 139, has impacted my life this year.  Truly, the Lord has used it in more ways than one.  If you have taken this journey with me, I'd love to hear any personal testimony you may have on how the Lord strategically used the verses you learned for 2012.  Several of our friends agreed to this challenge through this blog, but also through Facebook.  Feel free to share with me through either avenue.  Looking forward to hearing how God has worked in your life.  Here is my verse for December 1st...

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Psalm 139:23 (NIV)

Praise be to the One whose words breathe life into our souls,