Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Who has the bigger sacrifice? (Ephesians 5:22, 23, 28, 29)

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. (Ephesians 5:22, 23 NLT)

In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. (Ephesians 5:28, 29 NLT)

I've always found this set of passages ironic...if that's the right term. Everyone gets all fired up about this little word "submit" that wives need to do...but when you continue on...I really think the guys get the tougher assignment...Husbands need to be willing to give up his life for his wife....or as in this and care for his wife as Christ did for the church...tall orders if you ask me.  And I have to say....someone who is gonna love me like that....I have no qualms trusting them with my submission.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What role do you play? (Genesis 3:6)

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. (Genesis 3:6 NLT)

It is a little troubling how simple this account is of the first sin...but sin can certainly be like that...over so quick you barely realize you were falling.  And how easy it was to bring someone else along for the do I use my influence with my husband?  There are times I know I can "get my way" if I really want...I can take advantage of his love and trust in's not to my advantage...and it could damage our relationship in the long run.  Is it worth that?  But I don't always remember to think long term.  This is also true with my relationship with God....well not that it's easy to manipulate God exactly....but it is way too easy to take His infinite love for granted...we don't deserve...we didn't earn it...but that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to deepen the relationship.

Lord, help me remember to look for your will in my decisions and choices for my life.  Help me continue to love my husband in a way that honors him and you through my actions and choices.  Amen.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Set your mind (Colossians 3:2)

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2 NIV)

Discipline our minds...Sometimes reminding myself to focus on things above helps refocus my attitude with a situation or a person here on earth.  Focusing on God helps put things back into place and gives  the petty annoyances the boot...I know can get myself in what seems like a never ending loop of frustration and negativity...yuck...for me and those around me.  When I take my eyes off of me...and put my mind on helps me surrender the yuck and lets God soften my heart so that I can start to love again...instead of being a crab.

Lord help me to keep my mind on the things me see this world through your me see opportunity instead of inconvenience and irritation.  Amen.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Take captive your thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5)

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)

Take captive our that picture....really fail miserably at it tho.  I also am really beginning to understand the idea of a wedge.  I've seen them at work and understand the principle...but when I think (ha) about my thoughts...and trying to take them captive....or thinking on the things of isn't initially the big issues or big irritants that ge to's the problem that starts as a little annoyance....and is allowed to expand...wedge-like to distract and erode our focus and dedication to God...and his desires for our life.  I think right now of a person I I am struggling with to take captive my negative's hard.  And I really understand how changing those patterns have to be a concerted won't change without intention.

Lord help me take my thoughts harness them and guide them to how you would have me think and act to bring your love, grace and mercy into my life and the lives around me.  Amen.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Think on these things (Philippians 4:8)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

Love this verse....totally gets to the heart of my focus.  It is discipline to keep your mind is a choice to focus on the good....and most of the time the choice is not easy...not even a little easy...but we must keep making that choice.  It can be as simple as welcoming the day...instead of dreading Monday...or the bigger challenge of finding a good quality in a person who annoys the crap out of you...but I've found finding that good thing and focusing can change my attitude about another person created and loved by God.  And finding the God in any situation is always praiseworthy.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

This is a passage I struggle with to be honest.  Mostly, I'm always looking for a definitive much is too much...when have I conformed too much.  So I struggle with this balance...and I can go to extremes...although I'm not very good at the deprivation kind...I'm also not great with the flip side either...and it's sorta funny but I tend to define this by consumerism.  Although I know entertainment, pop culture, movies, music and so forth are also part of it.  Natalie Grant left the Grammy Awards ceremony because it made her uncomfortable.  Mandisa didn't even attend.  I watched a small portion of the show but turned it off...not rejecting it I guess...just not entertained by it.  Should a person only listen to Christian music or read theological books...There are certainly groups that go to extremes and cut themselves off from the that what God intended?  I don't think fact, I think he expressly wants us in the world showing his love to those we touch. comes back to seeking...spending time and leaning into God...listening to his quiet voice.  Also...not conforming doesn't make us better than doesn't make us superior...I am coming more and more to the conclusion that our most important actions are loving others as God loved us.  We are failing miserably at sharing the amazing love of our God with the world.  Maybe if I concentrated on actively showing God's love I wouldn't have to worry about where to draw the line.  God help me transform my mind so that I honor you by loving your creation.  Amen

Monday, February 3, 2014

Romans 8:6

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6 NIV)

I read this and it seems so simple and clear.  I find I wish I could live always with my mind governed by the Spirit.  It is so easy to get distracted by the trials going on in our lives and world.  And then at the same time...i feel simplistic in a  bad way to say it should be easy.   Life is hard...there are no end to the demands or the different directions those demands can come from...It can take so little to send us skittering off away from the truth...the life and peace of God.  Lord help my mind to be governed by your Spirit.  Amen.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

I don't believe there there can be a more dynamic verse about the power of God's word.  It is our best connection to God -- to know Him and his know how we should surrender our shape and direct our paths...and to provide comfort and hope.  I am so convicted...the devotional material from Good Morning Girls for this passage was about how our quiet time with God is not the time to be multi-tasking....and as I'm reading that...I was painting my finger nails...Yep BUSTED.   God knows our hearts...but it is vital that we still our heart and mind  so that we can hear Him.  Lord, help me to be quiet in the midst of me still my heart so that I can hear your voice.  Be my guide.  Lead me.  Amen