Friday, September 23, 2016

36. The Christ of the Indian Road by E. Stanley Jones

I think this is my fourth time reading this book? I read it for our second Kingdom Community in 2011. I love it, and I always learn new things when I read it. 

It all comes down to Jesus.

My last review is HERE.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

35. Muslims, Christians, and Jesus by Carl Medearis


As I read this book, I realized I had never read it cover to cover. It held nothing new in terms of information, but I loved it. Carl is such a great writer! I will recommend it highly to anyone who wants to be involved in better Muslim-Christian relations! 

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Exchanged Life

So, I was reading in Christ on the Indian Road, and when I read this, it sounded so much like J. Hudson Taylor. So, I read both.

Christ on the Indian Road, p. 19-21

I went on to India with 
a deepening cloud upon me. Here I was beginning a new term of 
service in this trying climate and beginning it— broken. 
I went straight to the hills upon arrival and took a complete rest for 
several months. I came down to the plains to 
try it out and found that I was just as badly off 
as ever. I went to the hills again. When I came 
down the second time I saw that I could go no 
further, I was at the end of my resources, my 
health was shattered. Here I was facing this 
call and task and yet utterly unprepared for it 
in every possible way. 

I saw that unless I got help from somewhere 
I would have to give up my missionary career, 
go back to America and go to work on a farm 
to try to regain my health. It was one of my 
darkest hours. At that time I was in a meeting 
at Lucknow. While in prayer, not particularly 
thinking about myself, a Voice seemed to say, 

“Are you yourself ready for this work to which 
I have called you?” I replied : “No, Lord, I am 
done for. I have reached the end of my rope.” 
The Voice replied, “If you will turn that over to 
me and not worry about it, I will take care of it.” 

I quickly answered, “Lord, I close the bargain 
right here.” A great peace settled into my heart 
and pervaded me. I knew it was done! Life- 
abundant Life— had taken possession of me. I 
was so lifted up that I scarcely touched the road 
as I quietly walked home that night. Every inch 
was holy ground. For days after that I hardly 
knew I had a body. I went through the days, 
working all day and far into the night, and came 
down to bedtime wondering why in the world I 
should ever go to bed at all, for there was not 
the slightest trace of tiredness of any kind. I 
seemed possessed by Life and Peace and Itest 
by Christ himself. 

The question came as to whether I should tell 
this. I shrank from it, but felt I should — and 
did. After that it was sink or swim before every- 
body. But nine of the most strenuous years of 
my life have gone by since then, and the old 
trouble has never returned, and I have never had 
such health. But it was more than a physical 
Touch. I seemed to have tapped new Life for 
body, mind, and spirit. Life was on a perma- 
nently higher level. And I had done nothing 
but take it ! 
I suppose that this experience can be picked 
to pieces psychologically and explained. It does 
not matter. Life is bigger than processes and 
overflows them. Christ to me had become Life. 

Apart from this Touch I question if I would 
have had the courage to answer the call to work 
among these leaders of India’s thought and life. 
It was too big and too exacting. But here I saw 
my Resources. And they have not failed. 
Here is a similar experience in Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret:
"The Exchanged Life" Chapter
Yes, in me, in me He dwelleth–– I in Him and He in me! And my empty soul He filleth Now and through eternity.  –– Horatio Bonar
" . . . God made me a new man! God has made me a new man!"
Wonderful was the experience that had come in answer to prayer, yet so simple as almost to baffle description . . .
Do you know, I now think that this striving, longing, hoping for better days to come is not the true way to holiness, happiness or usefulness. It is better, no doubt, far better than being satisfied with poor attainments, but not the best way after all. I have been struck with a passage from a book . . . entitled Christ is All. It says,"The Lord Jesus received is holiness begun; the Lord Jesus cherished is holiness advancing; the Lord Jesus counted upon as never absent would be holiness complete . . . .
"He is most holy who has most of Christ within, and joys most fully in the finished work . . ."
. . . . To let my loving Savior work in me His will, my sanctification, is what I would live for by His grace. Abiding, not striving nor struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting Him for present power; . . . resting in the love of an almighty Savior, in the joy of a complete salvation, "from all sin"––this is not new, and yet 'tis new to me . . . . Christ literally all seems to me, now, the power, the only power for service, the only ground for unchanging joy . . . .
How then to have our faith increased? Only by thinking of all that Jesus is and all He is for us: His life, His death, His work, He Himself as revealed to us in the Word, to be the subject of our constant thoughts. Not a striving to have faith . . . but a looking off to the Faithful One seems all we need; a resting in the Loved One entirely, for time and eternity.
. . . . I looked to Jesus, and when I saw––oh, how joy flowed!
It was resting in Jesus now, and letting Him do the work––which makes all the difference. Whenever he spoke in meetings after that, a new power seemed to flow from him, and in the practical things of life a new peace possessed him. Troubles did not worry him as before. He cast everything on God in a new way, and gave more time to prayer.
It was the exchanged life that had come to him––the life that is indeed "No longer I." . . . It was a blessed reality "Christ liveth in me." And how great the difference!––instead of bondage, liberty; instead of failure, quiet victories within; instead of fear and weakness, a restful sense of sufficiency in Another.
Perhaps I may make myself more clear if I go back a little. . . . I prayed, agonized, fasted, strove, made resolutions, read the Word more diligently, sought more time for meditation––but all without avail. Every day, almost every hour, the consciousness sin oppressed me.
I knew that if only I could abide in Christ all would be well, but I could not. I would begin the day with prayer, determined not to take my eye off Him for a moment, but pressure of duties, sometimes very trying, and constant interruptions apt to be so wearing, caused me to forget Him. Then one's nerves get so fretted in this climate that temptations to irritability, had thoughts and sometimes unkind words are all the more difficult to control. Each day brought its register of sin and failure, of lack of power. To will was indeed "present with me," but how to perform I found not.
Then came the questions, is there no rescue? Must it be thus to the end––constant conflict, and too often defeat? . . . . Instead of growing stronger, I seemed to be getting weaker and to have less power against sin; and no longer, for faith and even hope were getting low. I hated myself, I hated my sin, yet gained no strength against it. I felt I was a child of God. His Spirit in my heart would cry, in spite of all, "Abba, Father." But to rise to my privileges as a child, I was utterly powerless.
. . . . I knew I was powerless. I told the Lord so, and asked Him to give me help and strength. Sometimes I almost believed that He wold keep and uphold me; but on looking back in the evening––alas! There was but sin and failure to confess and mourn before God.
. . . . And yet, never did Christ seem more precious; a Savior who could and would save such a sinner! . . . And sometimes there were seasons not only of peace but of joy in the Lord; but they were transitory, and at best there was a sad lack of power.
All the time I felt assured that there was in Christ all I needed, but the practical question was––how to get it out. He was rich truly, but I was poor; He was strong, but I weak. I knew full well that there was in the root, the stem, abundant fatness, but how to get it into my puny little branch was the question. As gradually light dawned, I saw that faith was the only requisite––was the hand to lay hold on His fullness and make it mine. But I had not this faith.
I strove for faith, but it would not come; I tried to exercise it, but in vain. Seeing more and more the wondrous supply of grace laid up in Jesus, the fullness of our precious Savior, my guilt and helplessness seemed to increase. Sins committed appeared but as trifles compared with the sin of unbelief which was their cause, which could not or would not take God at His word. . . . I prayed for faith, but it came not. What was I to do?
When my agony of soul was at its height, a sentence in a letter from dear McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed to me the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never known it before.
"But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One."
As I read, I saw it all! "If we believe not, he abideth faithful." I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed)! That He had said, "Iwill never leave thee."
"Ah, there is rest!" I thought. "I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I'll strive no more. For has not He promised to abide with me––never to leave me, never to fail me?" And, . . . He never will.
. . . . As I thought of the Vine and the branches, what light the blessed Spirit poured direct into my soul! How great seemed my mistake in wishing to get the sap, the fullness out of Him! I saw not only that Jesus will ever leave me, but that I am a member of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. The vine is not the root merely, but all––root, stem, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruit. And Jesus is not that alone––He is soil and sunshine, air and showers, and ten thousand times more than we have ever dreamed, wished for or needed. Oh, the joy of seeing this truth! I do pray that the eyes of your understanding too may be enlightened, that you may know and enjoy the riches freely given us in Christ.
. . . It is a wonderful thing to be really one with a risen and exalted Savior, to be a member of Christ! Think what it involves. Can Christ be rich and I poor? Can your right hand be rich and your left poor? Or your head be well fed while your body starves? . . . . No more can your prayers or mine be discredited if offered in the name of Jesus (i.e., not for the sake of Jesus merely, but on the ground that we are His, His members) so long as we keep within the limits of Christ's credit––a tolerably wide limit!
The sweetest part, . . . is the rest which full identification with Christ brings. I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient. . . . So, if God should place me in serious perplexity, must He not give me much guidance; in positions of great difficulty, much grace; in circumstances of great pressure and trials, much strength? No fear that His resources will prove unequal to the emergency! And His resources are mine, for He is mine, and is with me and dwells in me.
And since Christ has thus dwelt in my heart by faith, how happy I have been! . . . I am no better than before. In a sense, I do not wish to be, nor am I striving to be. But I am dead and buried with Christ––ay, and risen too! And now Christ lives in me, and "the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
. . . . Do not let us consider Him as far off, when God has made us one with Him, members of His very body. Nor should we look upon this experience, these truths, as for the few. They are the birthright of every child of God, and no one can dispense with them without dishonoring our Lord. The only power for deliverance from sin or for true service is Christ.
And it is all so simple and practical!
"But are you always conscious of this abiding in Christ?" Mr. Taylor was asked many years later.
"While sleeping last night," he replied, "did I cease to abide in your home because I was unconscious of the fact? We should never be conscious ofnot abiding in Christ."
I change, He changes not;  The Christ can never die: His truth, not mine, the resting place;  His love, not mine, the tie.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

34. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett


This is a great dramatized version of this book! I was hooked from the beginning! This version has won all sorts of awards. Here is a summary with a review:

Winner of the Audie Award for Best Audiobook Adaptation 
Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

A 2009 Grammy Award Nominee for Best Spoken Word Album for Adults
 
“Don’t be too sure I’m as crooked as I’m supposed to be. That kind of reputation might be good business.”—Samuel Spade, private investigator
 
 
Believing the book’s vividly drawn characters and memorable dialogue cry out for theatrical treatment, Blackstone Audio commissioned this faithful dramatization by the award-winning Hollywood Theater of the Ear, in which a brilliant cast brings to life all the excitement and suspense of Hammett’s original in the playhouse of the mind. 

© 1929, 1930 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. © renewed 1956, 1957 by Dashiell Hammett 

“Wow! Whether or not you’ve read Hammett’s classic noir detective novel or seen the 1941 movie, you will be entranced by this magnificent adaptation, which is a solid reminder of the power of audio…In this mystery rich in characters, the actors show an impeccable understanding of their roles…Voices and sounds combine with a dramatically fashioned script to create a stellar listening experience with a you-are-there feel. Those who have never experienced the pleasures of radio theater are in for a tremendous treat, as are all who experience this amazing production.”
Booklist (starred review)
A 2009 AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for Mystery

“Spade…is what most of the private detectives I worked with would like to have been and in their cockier moments thought they approached.”—Dashiell Hammett

The Maltese Falcon first appeared in the pages of Black Mask magazine in 1929. Almost immediately it was acknowledged as not only a great crime novel but an enduring masterpiece of American fiction. Sam Spade, its protagonist, is the archetypal tough, cynical PI, “able,” as his creator explained, “to take care of himself in any situation, able to get the best of anybody he comes in contact with, whether criminal, innocent bystander or client.” And what a client!—the irresistible and treacherous femme fatale Brigid O’Shaughnessy. (from http://www.downpour.com/the-maltese-falcon-1)


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday Morning Freewrite for the next thirteen minutes!

I have 13 minutes until noon, so I am going for a quick freewrite.

Do you know why?????? I got almost everything on my list done ALREADY! :) 

I have been making "to do" lists on my Cozi app the last three days. 

I learned something about myself from the first two days of "to do" lists! I need to do the physical labor in the morning (after my time with God). I had saved the things like "go through the bathroom drawers and cupboards" for last. I thought I could treat myself to doing that during the commercials when I watched the news. Well guess what? By the time the news comes on (I am only watching PBS at 4pm or 7 pm and one network news show on nights I am here [a lot of times I am doing things at that time] - I am a news junkie!), I am on my "low-ebb" time of day. My back needs a good rest in bed, and I need to just be chill. That is why I have watched the news at that time all these years! 

So, I decided to do something different this morning. I had great time with God. Then I did my homework for my Kingdom Community (that meets on Tuesday mornings and has two hours of homework each week). THEN, I was a MACHINE. I did a 15 minutes laundry boogie (yes the basket had been sitting there for two days as Michael did more laundry and added to it, and I never got around to putting the clothes away). Then, I did a 15 minute paper toss boogie (or whatever The Flylady calls them). I paid for our trip to Mexico for Jenna's wedding too. Then, I did another 15 minute bathroom boogie! Then I did a swish and swipe and finished up my morning routine by eating breakfast and then I cleaned up the kitchen! (My kids had already unloaded the dishwasher this morning even though they left for work at 5:30!!! I have prayed Ephesians 6:7 for servants hearts for them for years, and God has answered my prayers!) I even took out the recycling and washed the recycling bags. Sometime during that, I listened to about fifteen minutes of The Maltese Falcon (WHAT A FUN NARRATION!)  Then, I loosened up my back by doing 1/3 of a Spri ball Pilates work out (thus preparing for the class I will teach at 5:30 pm)! Then, I sat down and wrote my review of The Last Battle

Now I am finishing up my freewrite! 

I will see Nancy and maybe prayer walk with her and then I will see Jennifer at 3:30 and bring her to Pilates with me! Then, I can watch the 7 pm news and mellow out, free of guilt over not working on the bathroom or kitchen or laundry BECAUSE I ALREADY DID! 

All in a half day's work! 

SELAH! 

33. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis


I read this one before The Magician's Nephew because the audiobook became available. So, I am still reading The Magician's Nephew in George's paperbacks from the 1970's.


This was not my favorite of all the Narnia books. I didn't dislike it, but it did not have super profound things like Puddleglum's speech in The Silver Chair! It was lovely to see some of the old characters return too. Also, I liked Patrick Stewart as the narrator.

Even though it was not my favorite, it gave me nice closure to a great summer of reading Narnia! 

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Monday Freewrite

I have got a full day ahead of me. But I want to take some time to freewrite. I have been working on this England photo book for two hours now. The deadline is midnight for 50% off, and I know that if I do not do it now, I will let the whole year go by without getting it done. I always think I will work on my pictures a little bit at a time throughout the year, but it is just all or nothing for me. I might get some done during Christmas, but I will not between now and then. The time to strike is TODAY.

I know that most people just let their pictures sit on their phone or on a disc or even just let it sit in their computer, but I really want to preserve our memories. Actually, I am all caught up to Christmas of 2015. I needed to buy an new Christmas album, and I did sometime in the last year, I believe it was after the first of the year? I am not sure. 

Maybe it is silly. People keep telling me that my kids will thank me later in life for preserving them. 


I also want to talk about being devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving, praying for an opening of the Word, and laboring earnestly. 

I think many of us say that we pray. We might be really disciplined in having a personal time with the Lord every morning. I would say that I am one of those people. I will say that it is for my personal benefit that I pray. 

I also intercede and even pray for the world. I had so much fun praying through the book Pray for the World this last year.

I want to get better at strategic prayer. I want to labor earnestly for those who have not yet heard. I want to pray with insight over peoples and nations.

So, that is what I want to labor earnestly for this year. 

All that said, I love this morning. George and the kids were all off to work by 5:30 or 6 am. I have until between 3-5 pm (they got off early yesterday, but sometimes they work longer days). I have a peace about my priorities. I have a peace about doing this newest ministry endeavor. I have peace about the tumult of the second half of August. I have moved on in every good sense of the word. I have been setting better boundaries. I have been putting my big girl panties on and not been so "feeling" when it was important for me to overlook the offense of another. (OUCH on Saturday night when I thought the social engagement would be really safe for me since I was still a bit tender from the brutal beating of August 20, and I wanted to run and cry in the bathroom, but I put my "big girl panties" on, and it ended up being a very pleasant evening. I must not take personally other people's issues and move on. Kim and I are covenanting together to not let others' baggage rob us of our joy!)

I am growing everyday. :)

Now, my goals and priorities for today are:

1) FINISH England book
2) Select and upload pictures to print by midnight so to take advantage of 101 free prints and 50% off of everything else
3) Prayer hours in the morning and evening (it is raining, so may not be a walk)

I think that will be my only goals for today because I think the books 20 pages will take me a good chunk of the day! I am excited to have this big gorilla off of my back (even though it has been fun to relive the memories of our trip). I have been working on them since July 31, but the photo processing software was not cooperating, and I got waylaid. I am now on a mission! 

Timer going off and no proofreading! Forgive me for typos and spelling errors.  




Saturday, September 03, 2016

Colossians 4:2-5, 12-13 Word Studies

          Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned;  that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 
         Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. 
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Col 4:2–5). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

DEVOTE

 proskartereo /pros·kar·ter·eh·o/ (pro=towards [used intensively] kartereo=tobe strong, to endure in, persevere in, continually steadfast with a person or thing)

to adhere to one, to be constant to one, give unremitting care to, persevere and not faint. 

Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

Zodhiates - to endure, tarry, remain somewhere, to continue steadfastly, continually insist, steadfastness and faithfulness.

Present Active Imperative Tense = continuous, subject produces action.

Jesus himself prays similarly, e.g., when in nightlong prayer he brings his decisions before God. He directs his disciples to pray in this way (Lk. 11:1ff.) and to persist in prayer (Lk. 18:1ff.), not just observing set times, but enjoying continuing fellowship with God in the obedience and confidence of children. The apostles accept this as part of their primary task in Acts 6:4, and the community as a whole devotes itself to teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer in Acts 2:42. Apostolic exhortations to persistence in prayer occur in Rom. 12:12 and Col. 4:2.
Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1985). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 417). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.

Possible questions leading to an I WILL (follow through): 

Am I devoted to prayer? Am I persistent in the way that Jesus directed His disciples to pray? How can I put into practice?

KEEPING ALERT 

1127 γρηγορέω [gregoreuo /gray·gor·yoo·o/] v. From 1453; TDNT 2:338; TDNTA 195; GK 1213; 23 occurrences; AV translates as “watch” 21 times, “wake” once, and “be vigilant” once. 1 to watch. 2 metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active.
Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

grēgoréō (agrypnéō).
1. This has the literal sense “to watch” in Mk. 14:34; 24:43; Lk. 12:37.
2. It has the figurative sense “to be vigilant” (especially in relation to the parousia)   p 196  in Mt 24:42; Mk 13:35; 1 Th. 5:6; Rev. 3:3, linked with sobriety in 1 Th. 5:6, prayer in Mk. 14:38; Col. 4:2, concern for salvation in Acts 20:31. agrypnéō (only figurative) is used similarly in Mk. 13:33. Lk. 21:36; Eph. 6:18; Heb. 13:17.
Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1985). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (pp. 195–196). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.

The duty of alertness as opposed to a slack or sleepy spirit is proclaimed in 1 Cor. 16:13; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:6; 1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 3:2, 3; 16:15. In 1 Thess. 5:6 and 1 Pet. 5:8,

Watchfulness or watching indicates that the Christian is alert or vigilant in order to defend himself against a spiritual foe. He is properly prepared for any surprise or sudden change in his circumstances, and above all, in order that his fellowship with God in prayer may be undistracted and efficacious.
Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Present Active Participle = refers to an action that is currently taking place or which takes place repeatedly. (http://www.alphadictionary.com/rusgrammar/presact.html)

LABORING EARNESTLY

75 ἀγωνίζομαι [agonizomai /ag·o·nid·zom·ahee/] v. From 73; TDNT 1:135; TDNTA 20; GK 76; Seven occurrences; AV translates as “strive” three times, “fight” three times, and “labour fervently” once. 1 to enter a contest: contend in the gymnastic games. 2 to contend with adversaries, fight. 3 metaph. to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers. 4 to endeavour with strenuous zeal, strive: to obtain something.
Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

75. ἀγωνίζομαι agōnízomai; fut. agonísomai, mid. deponent from agṓn (73), conflict. To contend for victory in the public games (1 Cor. 9:25). It generally came to mean to fight, wrestle (John 18:36). Figuratively, it is the task of faith in persevering amid temptation and opposition (1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7). It also came to mean to take pains, to wrestle as in an award contest, straining every nerve to the uttermost towards the goal (Luke 13:24 [cf. 1 Cor. 9:25; Phil. 3:12ff.; Heb. 4:1]). Special pains and toil (Col. 1:29; Col. 4:12). Implies hindrances in the development of the Christian life.
Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

B. agṓn, agōnízomai in the NT.
a. Striving for the goal is the first thought here (Lk. 13:24). Exertion (1 Th. 2:2) and a concentration of forces (Col. 1:29; cf. 2 Tim. 4:7–8) are both necessary.
b. Striving also calls for denial (1 Cor. 9:25), the setting aside of provisional ends (1 Cor. 9:27). This is not asceticism but athletic discipline (2 Tim. 4:5). It is not contempt for the world but a right ordering of priorities.
c. Little reference is made to antagonists, but obstacles and dangers have to be faced (cf. 1 Th. 2:2; 2 Cor. 7:5; Jude 3).
d. Martyrdom is the final conflict (cf. 2 Tim. 4:6; Heb. 10ff.)
e. The goal is not just our salvation but that of others too (Col. 1:29–30). Paul struggles “for” the church (Col. 2:1–2; cf. 4:12–13). Prayer is crucial here (Col. 4; Rom. 15). So is unity in the Spirit (Phil. 1:27ff.). The gospel brings conflict to the entire Christian life, but as we pray and stand together the sign of the cross is a sign of victory.
C. agṓn, agōnízomai in the Early Church. Pauline ideas recur in 1 Clement. Barnabas summons us to conflict (4.11). 2 Clement depicts the contest in the arena (7). Martyrdom and asceticism are later the leading forms of conflict, especially martyrdom (Tertullian To the Martyrs 3).
Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1985). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 21). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.

Ok, these quotes from above really hit me:

"Striving also calls for denial (1 Cor. 9:25), the setting aside of provisional ends (1 Cor. 9:27). This is not asceticism but athletic discipline (2 Tim. 4:5). It is not contempt for the world but a right ordering of priorities."

"The goal is not just our salvation but that of others too (Col. 1:29–30). Paul struggles “for” the church (Col. 2:1–2; cf. 4:12–13). Prayer is crucial here (Col. 4; Rom. 15)." 

I WILL QUESTIONS:

Could I devote myself to prayer and labor earnestly like an Olympic athlete? Could I have a "right ordering of priorities"?

Also, the goal is not our salvation - struggling in prayer on behalf of others. And praying for those who have never heard who do not even know enough to pray for themselves. 

Thursday, September 01, 2016

From Facebook Post on September 1, 2010

You chart the path ahead of me and tell me when to stop and rest. Psalm 139:3 (NLT)

Does this not totally line up with what I wrote in my freewrite this morning?

Psalm 46:10 Word Study on CEASE (Step Out of the Traffic)

Cease (the striving is an added word for context) - bolding is mine


7503. רָפָה rāp̱āh: A verb meaning to become slack, to relax, to cease, to desist, to become discouraged, to become disheartened, to become weak, to become feeble, to let drop, to discourage, to leave alone, to let go, to forsake, to abandon, to be lazy. The word occurs forty-five times, often with the word yāḏ (3027), meaning hand, forming an idiomatic phrase that requires careful translation within the context of a particular passage. For example, when Ish-Bosheth, Saul’s son, heard that Abner had died, his hands became feeble, i.e., his courage failed him (2 Sam. 4:1; cf. 2 Chr. 15:7; Isa. 13:7; Jer. 6:24, 50:43; Ezek. 7:17; 21:7[12]). The term was also employed to signify the act of ceasing from something (Judg. 8:3; 2 Sam. 24:16; Neh. 6:9; Ps. 37:8); of leaving someone alone (Ex. 4:26; Deut. 9:14; Judg. 11:37; Job 7:19); of letting go (Job 27:6; Prov. 4:13; Song 3:4); and of abandoning or forsaking someone (Deut. 4:31; 31:6, 8; Josh. 1:5; 10:6; Ps. 138:8). On rare occasions, the term conveyed a state of laziness or complacency (Ex. 5:8, 17; Josh. 18:3; Prov. 18:9).
Baker, W., & Carpenter, E. E. (2003). The complete word study dictionary: Old Testament (p. 1072). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.
2198      רָפָה (rāpâ) sink down, let drop, be disheartened.

White, W. (1999). 2198 רָפָה. R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 858). Chicago: Moody Press.

Relax 
re•lax  \ri-ˈlaks\  verb[Middle English, from Latin relaxare, from re- + laxare to loosen, from laxus loose — more at SLACK](15th century)transitive verb 1 : to make less tense or rigid : SLACKEN 〈relaxed his grip〉 2 : to make less severe or stringent : MODIFY 〈relax immigration laws〉 3 : to make soft or enervated 4 : to relieve from nervous tensionintransitive verb 1 : to become lax, weak, or loose : REST 2 : to become less intense or severe 〈hoped the committee would relax in its opposition〉 3 of a muscle or muscle fiber : to become inactive and lengthen 4 : to cast off social restraint, nervous tension, or anxiety 〈couldn’t relax in crowds〉 5 : to seek rest or recreation 〈relax at the seashore〉 6 : to relieve constipation (leaving this one in because it makes me laugh) 7 : to attain equilibrium following the abrupt removal of some influence (as light, high temperature, or stress)


Merriam-Webster, I. (1996). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary (10th ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.


Let it go.
Forget it.; Stop worrying about it.  
Don't get so angry about it.  
Let it go. Let it go. Stop fretting. 
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.





Thursday Freewrite

Today I sit quietly. I wait and listen. I am back on even keel. I counted about seven days lost because of "robbed joy" after the most joyful of summers. When I sat and listened, I put a plan in action. Then came the test. All that was within me wanted to give in to my need to be helpful! But God had given me a service plan that did not include the request before me. I told my accountability people that I almost gave in and would do the service quietly so they would not know about it. (I could make the time, but it would have been at the expense of other things. Not a God's plan, my own. Good things, but they were not GOD'S BEST THINGS.) But I prayed some more, and God was very clear that He had given me those orders that I specifically wrote out in my last "well-watered soul" update on this very blog. So, I must obey, even though disobeying would look like servanthood.

So, I said, "No." Then there was this amazing sense of freedom and peace. Had I said, "Yes," it would have led to dread. 


Sister Joan had said that I could modify and set time limits to my service. I always think that is so selfish. Where does that come from? I do think that my mom would serve and give and give and give some more. So, I know that she had trouble setting boundaries when it came to service too. My dad, no so much. He was a big servant, always towing people's broken down boats as we sat in the hot boat. But it was always such an adventure of servanthood. He always made it so fun! He always made a friend through the service, and we received blessings (like the time the houseboard overturned and dumped all its new contents into the water, and my dad coordinated three boats that towed an upside-down houseboat to the nearest dock miles and miles away. The owner told us we could have all the contents we could find at the bottom. My brother and I dove down to the bottom and pulled a treasure trove of contents up. Forty cans of POP was our biggest joy, but I think my dad was more excited about the Sears Battery that he traded in for $40! Hey, it is just dawning on me that my dad had us do all the pulling up. Free labor! HEY! LOL!)

So, obedience is better than sacrifice. It is best to chose the best rather than the good or better. God's plans are always the best.

So, here I sit with an agenda for today.

I will start a new ministry season. It started out with just two people, but now there are two more who are interested in joining us. I love this ministry that God has given us, and I get to do it with the two women that I invested in 10 years ago.

Then, I think we will be going on.

Got a very sweet message from my other boss this morning telling me how much she loves the "positive energy" I bring to the gym. That was nice to hear. 

Well, I only have 1:45 left to go, and the last freewrite I did ended up being more 45 minutes than 15! SO, I will end this and . . .

1) Meditate on Psalm 46:10 AGAIN (Theme verse for the rest of the year)

2) Upload the rest of my pictures to Shutterfly

3) Lifts weights

4) Walk with Katherine

5) Work on ministry manual

Peace out! 

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...