Monday, March 30, 2009

Memory Verse Monday #12

Today's verse for Memory Verse Monday comes from...

John 17:3 (NIV)
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

This is one of the two memory verses for Unit 2: Knowing God, The Journey: Your Walk With God.

More on the Moses Connection

I guess God isn't finished talking to me about Moses yet! This morning, in my Blogger reading list, I saw this blog entry. In a nutshell, the blogger's thoughts spring from Numbers 12:7 (NLT) which says: "But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust."

The blogger asks this question: "God's up already this morning, and he's looking for people he trusts. What will he find when He engages you?"

Whoa! I have to think about that for a moment... I sure would like to think that I am someone God can trust; therefore someone He can use for His glory!

I read further down to verse 8 of Numbers 12 and this is what it says: "I (God) speak to him (Moses) face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as he is." Now, I think that is just way cool! This is the way I can expect God to speak to me if He finds me trustworthy.

This is great food for thought to start off the week. Have a great Monday!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Memory Verse Monday #11

My Bible Study group is starting on a new study tonight. It's one that we've already done before called The Journey: Your Walk With God. As a group, we are all eager to go through it again for the benefit of some new members recently added to our growing group of friends! I know it will be exciting to revisit the basics of our faith.

Each unit ends with a memory verse. Actually, not just one, but two verses! So, for the next twelve weeks (depending on how God speaks to me...), I will pick one of those verses for Memory Verse Mondays. Today's verse is from...

Philippians 4:19 (The Message)
You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.

This happens to be one of my favourite verses. I like the version from The Message the best.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Moses Connection

Finally!!! --- some time to sit down and organize my thoughts on this whole Moses theme that God has been enlightening me with in recent days.

It all started when I had to preview the movie The Prince of Egypt because I was showing it to the children at church as their Sunday School lesson. I was greatly moved by the enormousness of Moses' sacrifice and his immense faith in God. I must admit that I never really saw Moses' story in this particular way before.

A good friend of mine, after reading my blog entry about the movie, emailed me about a book she is reading --- John Charles Ryle's 'Holiness'. She told me that I must read the chapter about Moses. Being the avid reader that I am, I quickly devoured the Moses chapter --- it was a great read, based mainly on Hebrews 11:24-27! Several points jumped out at me, which reinforced (of course!) what had initially moved me while watching the movie.

Here are some of those points:

~ Moses gave up rank and greatness; refused pleasure and riches. I thought about how this could translate to our society today... it could mean giving up our position in society or in our community; giving up people's respect; delaying gratification for a 'well-deserved' vacation or a nice home; refusing the opportunity to earn more money.

~ Moses chose suffering and affliction; the company of despised people; reproach and scorn. What do these translate to today? It could mean not taking the easy road, choosing to do the right thing even when it means sacrifice; associating with the outcasts of society, offering them hope and help; obeying God even when it means earning the reproach and scorn of our peers.

~ Moses did what he did because of his immense faith in God. He believed that God would keep His promises; that nothing was impossible with God; the God is all-wise and all-merciful. He chose God before the world.

Then, last Sunday, the guest speaker at church spoke about how meekness is a characteristic of a true Christ follower. Who does he pick as one of the examples? Of couse, Moses! In Numbers 12:3 (KJV) it says: "Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth."

Our guest speaker was quick to point out that meekness does not in any way mean weakness. In fact, it is power under control. He likened meekness to a soothing medicine, a gentle breeze and a domesticated horse. It is a result of humbling one's self before God.

Moses was meek towards God by obeying God without counting the cost; he was meek towards men by not defending himself when wronged; and, he was meek towards himself by overlooking his inadequacies and choosing to trust God instead.

That's the Moses connection, in a nutshell! Lots to learn, lots to digest, lots to ponder upon.

Meekness "shows itself when you seek to defend God, not yourself. It results in blessing and in inheriting the earth. It characterizes every true believer because it accompanies salvation, is commanded by God, is needed for receiving and communicating His Word, and glorifies Him."
---John MacArthur

Monday, March 16, 2009

Memory Verse Monday #10

This week's verse for Memory Verse Monday is from...

Psalm 37:11 (NIV)
...the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.

There is a theme in what God is enlightening me with this past week --- it is a Moses theme! I will attempt to blog about this sometime later this week... that is, if I find the time to get my thoughts on this topic somewhat organized!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Asking Myself This...

This weekend, while having a conversation with a friend about the appropriateness of handing out gospel tracts during certain community events, a thought came to my mind. It is actually quite a disturbing thought! Here it is... it seems to me that Christians these days are only identifiable to others when they have gospel tracts in their hands or when they are publicly doing evangelism or when they are in church.

I found myself thinking... when people (neighbours, co-workers, friends, etc.) look at my everyday life... when I don't have a gospel tract in my hand... when I am not publicly speaking about my faith... is there enough evidence; do I stand out... in order for them to conclude that I am a follower of Christ?

As hubby and I volunteered at a church service project this past weekend, the same question came to mind. I said to hubby: this person doesn't necessarily know that it is a church group that has come to help him. But through our acts of service alone (not by giving him a gospel tract and certainly not by trying to preach to/at him), I wonder if he is able to see God through us? Because if he can not, then we are certainly not being good representatives of Christ here on earth!

Does my life reflect my faith? I think I have some pondering to do...

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
--- I Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT)

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Saw A Quote

While driving home today, I saw a church lawn sign with the following quote on it: "One generation plants the tree, another generation gets the shade."

So true, isn't it? Especially if you put it in the context of church planting. Hubby and I have just recently been conversing about the growing pains that come with church planting work. It is definitely not easy; some days it truly seems like the sapling is growing ever so slowly... when will we see the shade? When??? The quote above answers the question... another generation gets the shade!

Last night, I previewed the movie The Prince of Egypt because I am showing it to the children this coming Sunday at church. What a great lesson in faith! Moses, who grew up as the Prince of Egypt, left all the comforts of the palace in order to lead God's people out of slavery and into the Promised Land. That act of obedience took a lot of courage, change, faith! It wasn't an easy task at all... at the end of it all, Moses wasn't even able to enter the Promised Land himself!

Watching the movie made me think... am I willing to obey God, just like Moses did, even though I myself might not see the shade from this tree that we are planting? Now, that is definitely some food for thought!

"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible."
--- Hebrews 11:24-27 (NIV)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March Madness

March! This month will be busy... I have started to gear up for it. It's not all that different from March of last year, it's just a bit more intense this year! :-)

First off, work. Last year at this time, I was working only 22.5 hours per week. This year because of the downsizing at my workplace, leaving our department with only two people, I am expected to clock an average of 30 hours per week. Thankfully, I am able to manage with a little less than that and still meet my deadlines! God has indeed been supplying me with the energy and the focus for which I am thankful. I will need to continually draw strength from Him as the workload typically picks up each March before easing up again towards the end of June.

Next on the list, Destination Imagination! Last year, only my daughter's team competed at the provincial tournament while my son's team performed. This year, both teams are competing! While I am only co-managing my daughter's team, I am also helping to prepare my son for his team's presentation such as running through his script lines regularly. This year's provincial tournament happens on Saturday, April 4. We are starting to gear up for it by adding extra practice times. The kids are excited and so are we! We are starting to wonder how many of our school's teams will make it to the Global Finals in Tennessee this year. We'll see!!!

Then, there's church. Last year at this time, we didn't have Sunday services yet! We were just getting started. Now, we have regular Sunday services complete with a children's ministry department for which I am responsible for! Also, it just so happens that our pastor and his family are taking a much needed vacation this month... for the next two Sundays, hubby and I will be responsible for a little bit more stuff at church.

Plus, there's life in general!

Don't get me wrong... I love what I do (all of the above!) and wouldn't trade them for anything else. It's just that I need to focus, focus, FOCUS and FOCUS some more when things come into a collision course like it always seems to in March! I guess blogging about it and getting it out of my system enables me to feel more in control about the situation. Most of all, it helps me keep everything in perspective --- that God will supply!

So, deep breath, exhale... April will come soon!!!

Enough, By Chris Tomlin
(to listen to this song, see Playlist on the sidebar)

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

You are my supply
My breath of life
And still more awesome than I know
You are my reward worth living for
And still more awesome than I know

You're my sacrifice
Of greatest price
And still more awesome than I know
You're the coming King
You are everything
And still more awesome than I know

More than all I want
More than all I need
You are more than enough for me

More than all I know
More than all I can say
You are more than enough for me

Memory Verse Monday #9

It's Tuesday --- better late than never for Memory Verse Monday! This week's verse is from...

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love.
He will rejoice over you with singing.

Why this verse? This week, our church is going to be a part of a team that is going to help an individual "clean up" his apartment. I haven't seen this apartment myself, but our pastor used this article from the Toronto Star to compare it to. As you can see, it's no simple "clean up" job! To be quite honest, my first instinct was to contribute some money towards this "project" so that I don't have to be personally involved. In my mind, I decided that the 'yuck' is just too much for me to handle.

The above verse then reminded me that God delights in people, every single one on this earth, and we should too! I know this phrase is over used these days, but it did crop up in my mind while deciding how I can be a part of this "project" --- What would Jesus do?

The answer was clearly obvious to me... Jesus wouldn't have just contributed money! I quickly came to my senses... I signed up to do some painting of the apartment walls!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Memory Verse Monday #8

We had an awesome time of prayer yesterday at the Healing Service for my brother-in-law. I know that God heard our prayers and has answered them! Healing happened in that sanctuary yesterday and healing continues to happen in more ways than one!!! As the prayer team from our church prayed over my brother-in-law, I know that God was glorified and the enemy was defeated!

So, in honour of that, here is today's verse for Memory Verse Monday...

Psalm 68:1-3 (NASB)
Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered,
And let those who hate Him flee before Him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
As wax melts before the fire,
So let the wicked perish before God.
But let the righteous be glad; let them exult before God;
Yes, let them rejoice with gladness.