Sorry I didn't clarify this yesterday. As for the summaries/stories of your learning and the journey through these 9 weeks, I'd like to do a series of posts on the front page of TWC so I need you to shoot those to me in a text document (or in an email) to email@example.com. Honestly, they can be as long and short as you'd like but keep in mind these points when writing "blog" posts.
- Shorter paragraphs work better than long
- Bullet lists work amazingly well.
- Sections with headings work great.
- Extremely lengthy posts are less likely to be read all the way through.
- Numbered posts (and titles) generate interest. For example: "9 Things I Learned Doing Pure Praise Study"
Excited to see your thoughts from today's devotional and your "journey" stories as well!
The Lord really spoke to me during this session. I even had to stop and journal what I was hearing from him. Even though today’s session dealt with keeping our focus on Christ, I believe the Lord took me a little deeper than that, and asked me to focus on his love, his vast, unshakable love. His love for us is so tender and so deep, and yet we sometimes misunderstand it completely. When the Lord says in his word that we are the “apple of his eye,” the correct translation (according to Ravi Zacharias) is we are the “little maiden” in his eye. The meaning of this term is that the Lord wants us so close that when we gaze on him, we’ll see our own reflection in his pupils. WOW! Also, after reading Hosea, I see the Lord’s love is so deeply moving that he embraces an adulterous nation! As we, being the adulterous nation that we are, finally see the Lord’s love for us, we won’t be able to resist that kind of love. His love leads us to repentance because his light exposes our sin, and we will surely see the need to repent. Lord, may it be so with our country!
Lord, even with a little guy asleep upstairs, I cannot help but shout your praises. “Shout to the Lord” immediately came to mind. At the mere sound of your name, all creation worships you! “I sing for joy at the work of your hands” became more alive to me today as I think back on what you’ve done to draw us closer to you, and expressed your love in such a beautiful manner. Thank you for drawing me closer to you. My desires are becoming more focused on you and your kingdom.
I thought of you in a very deep way today, and how close you desire us to come to you. You want us so close that we can hear your whisper, and we can see our own reflection in your pupils. We are the “little maiden” in your eye. When you see us, you grin like a father holding his little girl. Even when we rebel, and turn our lives away from you, you pursue us waiting for us to see your love so you can embrace us in a way that reminds us your love endures forever and is unwavering. Your love is truly a solid rock!
Lord, I do thank you for getting my spirit jump-started before I began this study. You confirmed your desires for me and challenged me in the process, and I am grateful. My passion to be disciplined in your ways has renewed. I strongly desire to know more of your ways, and more of who you are. I want others to recognize the same need to know you more and develop a willingness to allow your discipline in their lives. Right now, my only “distractions” are my children. Although, they are not really distractions, they are my “first ministry.” I want to set a godly example for them as my husband and I seek you with all we have. May the work you do in our lives inspire our children to seek your face just as fervently as we have (if not more). I pray the work you do in their lives inspires the next generation, and the next and the next and the next, for the purposes of your heart stand firm through all generations (Psalm 33:11).
Melanie Siewert, Christ's Servant
The Apostle Paul was very concerned with being disqualified. I can think of dozens of pastors and staff members who have been disqualified because they took their eyes off the prize and became distracted, then entrapped, in sin.
So we will do well to become as concerned as Paul was.
We need to be doing the things in our private time with God that we did when we were falling in love with our spouses. That way, we can keep falling in love with our Savior.
My Daily Praise
xxxXXxx (clapping)"Lord you are good and your mercy endures forever. Sing Praise, Sing Praise!" (I know I have mixed the words to two songs, but I'm not singing in church right now.
My Daily Surrender
God, I confess that it is very easy for my love and joy to become ordinary and unfeeling. This happens whenever I let something come between us. Make my heart so tender that I grieve within my spirit when I am not loving you like I should. Restore me to my "first-love." (Rev. 2:4)
So I'm a little unsure of what Dwayne means by "distractions" or "activities that seem harmless or even helpful, but are not the will of God for us." I know that God's will for me is to be a wife and a mother. I know He has told me to quit teaching and stay home to take care of the girls. I also know he wants me to be writing songs and leading worship.
But what about other, seemingly inconsequential activities? Last year I trained for and completed a half marathon. I'm really excited to start a new workout program soon. I love reading. I guess those things, along with TV, are what takes time away from my goals. But how can I know what pleases Him and what doesn't?
We sang a song in college concert choir that had the line(s): "O clap your hands, all ye people. Shout to the Lord with a voice of triumph." I think. Anyway, it was a powerful song. I loved it. That song comes to mind as I praise Him now.
I think things are going well with Him; I'm doing better than I used to do. I think a lot has to do with this study, which has been wonderful. Our Wed. evening service has been on break for the holiday, too, so I haven't been leading worship. But I've been so fulfilled and close to Him all the same. I've been at the piano and the guitar singing and praising Him, and working towards His goals!
By the way, our church is taking a week to read the Bible aloud in our auditorium. It's like 9 hours a day; people sign up for 15 minute slots. I had my turn today, and it was so powerful, I got choked up when I read from 1 Chronicles. So many of our beloved well known verses are in it, especially in David's prayer of thanks. Check it out here: Peoples Church, Fresno California
But from 9-4pm Pacific time. It's really neat.
All that hath life and breath, praise ye the Lord!
In His Name,
I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed going through this study with you guys! I know I got a bit behind around week 5, and I'm just now catching up. I've been doing the daily readings from week 6 and posting there. I don't want to jump ahead and back in on week 9 readings because I feel I may miss a lot if I go out of order.
So, even though I'm not posting my thoughts here on this page, I'm still with you all! I see Russ's post about journey stories, and I'm looking forward to reading all of yours!
1. Central Passage
- Staying consistent and focused is the main challenge through concentration and discipline. I do long to hear Christ say "Well done!" We all strive for that "upward call of God in Christ!"
Good question - are my motives for personal gain, or seeking significance and striving to make a lasting impact on others.
Yes, a good infusion of renewed passion and purpose is needed occasionally! It is a challenge to be "up" all the time! Especially with my more quiet personality. I need to remove all distractions, stay disciplined and make sure that my focus is in the right direction; I need to rest in His divine power and be determined to finish well! One thing I need is an accountability partner. I've known that for a while, but have not acted on it.
"Christians aren't meant to be driven. We are drawn." Great quote!
2. My Daily Praise
- Lord, You are good, and Your love endures forever!!" Amen!
3. My Daily Surrender
- Lord, I am growing in my love life with You, but You know which areas I'm weak in, and help me in those areas. Lord, help my times of worship be more about singing to You, than doing what I need to do. Help me remove any activities that keep me from growing in my walk with You!