Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Few Things I am Learning......

..from the Bible that is! I don't know why when I committed to trying to read the Bible and pray daily as part of my goals list I didn't really realize how much difference it would make in my relationship with God. And it's not that I didn't read the Bible before, or that I haven't missed days now; it's just that since probably college, I haven't been very consistent. Anyway, the weird thing is, I am doing this "read the Bible in a year" kind of thing (I'm using a Charles Stanley application Bible) and when I first started I really DREADED the reading from the Old Testament law books (Leviticus, Exodus, ect.). There was just so much genealogy and well, laws. But, strangely enough, two of the really big things the Lord has shown me have been from these OT books. This is what they are:

1. Complaining-Reading about the Israelite

Reading about the Israelites complaining about having nothing but manna to eat really convicted me. God was providing for them, but they got tired of the manna and started whining about it. It made me realize I "grumble" alot too, just like the children of Israel. I have so much to be thankful for--a healthy baby, a sweet husband, wonderful parents and in-laws, a perfect Savior, godly friends, a loving church family--and yet I know I complain way too much about how bad I feel/how tired I am/how unattractive I feel/how much I still have to do/ect. So I am trying to be more positive. Keep me accountable Internets! I know that it is not wrong to ask for your prayers when life gets difficult, but help me not be a grumbler!

2. Fear/Worry- I have said is so many times on this blog. I struggle with anxiety. I mainly worry about bad things happening to the people I love. My Dad calls this "awfulizing and catastrophing" and he's the world's worst worrier (except for me)! Anyway, again I was reading about those Israelite kiddos and there journey to the Promise Land. It was saying how the spies were sent ahead and of course everyone but Caleb and Joshua freaked because the people where like giants! Caleb and Joshua, however, were able to see past the circumstances and focus instead on God's power and protection. I want to be like this! I want to keep my focus on the Lord and not on (real or imagined) circumstances. My Max Lucado devotion book was talking about this recently and two big things we can do to help us cope with worry is to 1) pray and 2) give thanks (Phil. 4:6) and God will do the rest by giving us his peace (Phil 4:7). So, when my sweet friend, Ashley, starts talking about how this woman she knows who was full-term lost her baby because it got it's umbilical cord wrapped around it's foot; I just 1)pray that won't happen and 2)thank God that as far as we know AP is safe and healthy and he will provide strenght for our every need!

3) This really isn't from my Bible study but I thought both of these articles were amazing. This one talks about "pastors who lead by public consensus, i.e. taking a congregation 'where they want to go,' and pastors who lead by personal conviction, i.e. taking a congregation 'where they need to go.'" I am so thankful that we go to a true Bible-beleiving church with pastors who aren't afraid to truly speak the word of God. Sometimes I think I need to work harder at doing this and not worry about offending people. And this one, which is about people who gave up Facebook for Lent. What a great (and hard) idea. I have to admit sometimes I think my facebook/blog obsession is a little much. But I'm sure that will all change in a few short weeks, when I have other, um, priorities.

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