Friday, July 1, 2011

The Recurring Verse

Have you ever had a recurring nightmare or dream?  You know, one that keeps coming back over and over.  I remember as a child, especially, I had a couple, (none that I would care to share for fear of the men in white coats! Ha!).  As an adult, over the years, I've had one where I find myselft back in school. At first all is well until I realize I haven't been to math class in quite sometime and now I'm going to fail!!!  Analyze that one...UNRESOLVED GUILT from skipping class, maybe! Well, I'm not here today to actually talk about recurring nightmares, nor to analyze them.  But I wanted to get my point across about what a recurrence is.  It is something which comes back over and over again; a repetitive theme or experience.

As a Christian, I have also had the experience of recurrence in my journey with the Lord.  Let me attempt to explain.  When I became a Christ follower at the age of 19, I found out early on that my relationship with Christ was just that...a RELATIONSHIP.  For much of my life, Christianity had been a religion - a series of do's & don'ts, rituals & traditions, listening to "boring" sermons which had no real bearing on my life other than the guilt I felt every now & again over misconduct!  The Bible was just a book that I opened at church or school and although I believed it was true, it never meant more to me than any other history book, which by the way, I also believed was true.  Prayer was something I only did when I felt afraid and needed to put in my order to the "power" on the the other end of my spiritual 911 call.  There was NOTHING relational about it!  But, God...! (Just a side note - I challenge you to look up all the times in Scripture it says, "But, God...")  You see, even though my side of the experience was ALL about RELIGION, God's side of it was NEVER about religion!  The entire time, I was growing up attending Sunday School, church services & Christian school, God was at work!  (In fact, even before then according to Jeremiah 1:5 & Psalm 139:13.)  The entire time He was wooing me into a relationship with Him, (John 15:16). In fact His entire purpose for creating us all is for RELATIONSHIP with Him! 

So what does this snippet of my testimony have to do with recurrence, todays recurring theme? Well, it does in fact have everything to do with it!  You see, God in His GREAT LOVE for us, never stops pursuing us!  If you have been married very long and especially if you have had children in that marriage, you know that it doesn't take long for the "honeymoon" period to subside.  The marriage RELATIONSHIP requires attention!  To remain vibrant, it takes a continual pursuit or courting of that person to show them their importance to you! Commitment & faithfulness are key, but intimacy is at the heart of it all!  Without that time of continually getting to know the other person, you become entangled in all of the pressures, distractions & disillusions that life in this world will throw at you!  You have to make it a priority to spend time with that RELATE to them!  In my relationship to my Lord, Jesus Christ, I have to make it a priority to spend time with RELATE to Him!  I have to intentionally set aside time to study diligently the TRUTHS of His Word.  The Bible is no longer a history book, but is the Living, Breathing Word of God that cuts away the parts of me that are harmful and produces the fruit of His love, His peace, His joy and so much more!  He speaks to me through it!  Not audibly, but His Spirit to my spirit!  He CHANGES me! (Thank you, Lord!)  Prayer is no longer just a distress call, although I know that He SO cares for me that when I do need Him He is always there bending His ear to me like a Father to His child, ready to supply my every need (Phillipians 4:19).  Prayer is a continual conversation.  An expression of love and thankfulness and gratitude to Him Who has SO greatly expressed His love for me (John 3:16).

I know you are wondering..."Is she ever going to get around to recurrence?"  So, here it is.  You see, as much as I seek Him, it is not my side of the experience that is SO amazing!  I fail every day in my relationship to Him!  I rebel by making a conscious decision to make something else a priority!  I get busy with my responsibilities of life! {If Satan cannot make you bad, He will make you busy - that's just a free side note! :)}  I let other affections take priority in my life!  And the list of my unfaithfulness goes on & on...BUT, GOD!...God in His GREAT MERCY & GRACE continues to pursue me!!!  He knows in His omniscience that I will never be perfect in my pursuit of Him and He looks down on me in love and throws me a line...a RECURRING VERSE!  You see, He never tires in His pursuit of calling me back to Himself!  He shows me over and over again through the same scriptures how much He loves me, (Romans 8:38-39)!  How much He is FOR ME, (Romans 8:31; Psalm 34:6)!  How much He desires to RELATE to me (John 1:14 - "So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us.  He was FULL of UNFAILING LOVE & FAITHFULNESS!" NLT) 

As I have referenced in my last post, I am in a season of testing & waiting on the Lord right now.  And it has been hard, to say the least!  But can I tell you that I am confident that in His perfect will and plan for my life, He has not forgotten me!  He has used this time to draw me closer to His side and to remind me of His UNFAILING LOVE & FAITHFULNESS to me!  And in it, I am learning to TRUST Him more & more!!!  My recurring verse lately has been Psalm 5.  I'd like to share it with you here quoting from the New Living Translation (NLT):

"O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I will never pray to anyone but You!
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.  Each morning I bring my requests to You and wait expectantly.
O God, You take no pleasure in wickedness; You cannot tolerate the slightest sin.
Therefore, the proud will not be allowed to stand in Your presence, for You hate all who do evil.
You will destroy those who tell lies.  The Lord detests murderers & deceivers.
Because of Your UNFAILING LOVE, I can enter Your house; with deepest awe I will worship at Your Temple.
Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me.  Tell me clearly what to do, and show me which way to turn.
My enemies cannot speak one truthful word.  Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their speech is filled with flattery.   God, declare them guilty!  Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins, for they rebel against You.
BUT, let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever.
Protect them, so all who love Your name may be filled with joy.

My friends, are you in need of His RECURRING LOVE today?  Seek Him with ALL of your heart!  Call out to Him and look for Him in His Word!  You will find Him, (Jeremiah 29:13) and He will give YOU a RECURRING VERSE!


Sunday, June 12, 2011


Well, I never guessed that when I started this blog a little over 2 years ago that the first post would be my last, at least for a long while! I was full of confidence and ready to begin my writing ministry, or at least what I was calling a writing ministry "practice". I had big hopes of pouring my heart and soul into sharing the treasures God gives me through His precious Word. To be perfectly honest I cannot even tell you what the distraction was at the time, that took me away so easily from my task. What I can tell you is that today, and really for some time now, I have had a renewed awareness of God's calling on my life...the calling I spoke of in my first and only post thus far. As long as I am being honest, I will tell you that I am not super least not in the same sense as I was before. I suppose before I thought I was ready, but now I am only confident in the Call to do it and in the One who so gently yet persuasively tugs at my heart! As I have said before, I do not think of myself as a great Bible teacher or theologian. I just know that God through His holy and powerful Word continues to teach me and change me and He has given me a desire to share those truths with
As I said previously, I do not remember the specific catalyst for my interuption. But what I can tell you is this...These past 2 1/2 years right up into my present circumstances have been FULL of testing! I don't say that to complain. I don't say it to boast in my "spirituality". I simply state it as fact and to say that I believe that maybe before the proverbial pen had to hit the proverbial paper I needed to go through the waters of testing to be able to reach the depth of God's heart...and mine which He intends to use in this ministry. My student minister during my college years used to say, "ministry is the overflow of what God is already doing in your own heart." The Lord had more to do in mine so that the overflow here was truly from Him! This time of testing has not been easy and at times has been excrutiating...but that is the pruning process, (John 15:2). In order for fruit to be the very best, it must come from a branch which has been pruned by the Master Gardener! Only He knows the over-reaching goals he has for the vine and for what purpose He is planning to use it!
So, with all of this said, I want to renew my invitation I extended to you so long ago. Come journey with me through the precious, treasure-filled pages of God's Word to find the eternal promises of His love, His joy, His peace, His instruction, His grace, His mercy! All of these and more, you will find if you will seek after Him! Will you come? I'll look forward to meeting you here!
"How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But, his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day & night!
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers!"
~ Psalm 1:1-3

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Dream Realized...Almost (Part 1)

I was 19 years of age when I gave my heart to Jesus and asked Him to be the Lord and Savior of my life. A year later I surrendered my life to what some call a full-time Christian service or vocation. Although my personal career has never been with a church or parachurch ministry, I do consider myself to be in fulltime ministry as I am the wife of a pastor. I admit that I struggled for some time because I thought that the day I made that commitment to serve the Lord, that it meant I must choose some "special" ministry and label it "my calling". I had friends at the time who knew they wanted to marry ministers, but I was not sure of that at all for my life. All I knew was that I had an intense desire to serve God with all my heart and soul - with my entire being! Three years later at the age of 23 I did indeed marry a minister and so I thought, "well this must be it - my calling!" And, although I do consider it a ministry - to him as his helpmate, to our children as their mother, and to our congregation as their pastor's wife and all which that entails, I must also admit I'm still not sure that this is the "calling" to which I heard the Lord inviting me on that sobering night in May so many years ago.

So this is what brings me to this first post on this blog of mine..."Word-ful Wisdom". I believe this is my calling: to encourage, inspire, uplift and enlighten others with the truth of God's very Word, the Bible. I do not believe that I am a Bible teacher, at least not a very good one. I have taught the Bible to children at Vacation Bible School and Sunday School, to teenage girls in Sunday School and Discipleship classes and even to women in similar settings, but I do not consider myself to be a Bible scholar or theology expert by any means. What I do know is that God, through His Word has delivered me from sin and the effects of sin in my life and all I know is that it worked like a balm to my tormented and wounded soul and still does so. If He can do this for me, He can do this for anyone who is willing to let Him. I just want to share with you what He has done for and in me.

Jesus Christ changed my life...turned me around 180 degrees. I have a favorite Bible verse found in the Psalms that I will share with you another time, but there is another verse that I believe is becoming my LIFE verse. It is Luke 9:23-24, "Then He (Jesus) said to the crowd, 'If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross DAILY, and follow Me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for Me, you will find TRUE LIFE.'" There are days that I want to keep my life for mySELF. I want things to go MY way. But, I have found no greater joy than when I turn back to Him and say, "OK, Lord, as much as I want this or that, I know that You are my Lord and Your way is best; it is WISEST! And, you know what? I have never once regretted giving Him my life, my days, my moment by moments! He has never once left me or forsaken me despite ALL the times I have veered off of His path and tried to do things my own way. And one more matter how many steps I take away from Him, it only takes one to get back to Him. It is the step of humble repentance - true, sincere sorrow for my sin and true determined commitment to obey Him and to follow His instruction found in His Word.

THIS is TRUE WISDOM: Not just to KNOW what the Bible says, but to DO what the Bible says! Not just to READ the Bible, but to LOOK to and FOLLOW the example of Jesus, Who in fact, the Bible calls "the Word" in the gospel of John (John 1:1, 14). So, I ask you as we begin this journey to find wisdom in the Word, from where and whom do you look for wisdom? Let me leave you with words from the Apostle, Paul in his letter to the Colossians:

"I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other friends who have never known me personally. My goal is that they will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have full confidence because they have complete understanding of God's secret plan, which is Christ himself. In Him lie hidden all the treasures of WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE. I am telling you this so that no one will be able to deceive you with persuasive arguments...And now, just as you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught...Don't let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from HUMAN thinking and from EVIL powers of this world and not from Christ...And when Christ, who is your REAL LIFE, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in ALL His glory!" Colossians 2:1-4, 6-8; 3:4

(Verses quoted in this post are from the New Living Translation)