Tag Archives: encouragement

God’s Law – ways

God's Law WAYS

When I went through Psalm 119, I wrote down each of the words that referenced God’s laws in some way or another on notecards and then noted the verses that went with each word. I ended up with 11 cards: 8 are words specifically about God’s law, 2 are references that I haven’t fully decided upon yet (they fit but yet they don’t in the NIV), and 1 is a note on the verses that don’t mention God’s law.

I am choosing to start with the word WAYS. In the NIV, this word only appears twice, in verses 3 and 15.

Verse 3: They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways.

Verse 15: I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

Look up the definition of the word WAYS. You’ll probably find two options. 1) a method, style, or manner of doing something; and 2) a road, track, path, or street for traveling along. There were a couple of others that I found in different places by doing a search on the internet. But let’s look at these two.

Verse 3 seems to be using the 2nd of these literal definitions, but in regard to what God wants, the laws he wants followed. So, the Psalmist will walk in the WAYS that God directs him. How is he directed? That is really clear in the reading of the surrounding verses. God directs the ways to walk through his laws. When walking in his WAYS, we have a clear path marked out by which our travel is easier. When we follow that path, his WAYS, we can see where we are going and we have an easier time of it.

a method, style, or manner of doing something

When you have a way of doing something, you have a particular method which you desire to have followed. Maybe it is a set order of steps. Maybe it is specific materials. Maybe it is an expectation of being like you in how you handle something. In any regard, you have an expectation that things will be done specifically.

In verse 15, the Psalmist is saying that he is considering, thinking about, the manner or method that God desires. He is being aware of the fact that God has a plan that he wants his children to follow. The Psalmist is acknowledging that and abiding by it. How happy that must make God!

So, consider the word WAYS. How can we apply this thinking to our own life? Am I following that clearly delineated path God has made for me and learning it by reading the Bible? And I learning the method and manner of living life by God’s standards, His WAYS? Or am I leaning too much on my own sight, my own interpretation of the markings along the path?

I encourage you to read Psalm 119, to find encouragement in seeking out God’s WAYS.

At Home.

 

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God’s Law

God's Law

I am going to start a weekly series that I am titling “God’s Law.”

I don’t honestly know where it will go but I am starting in Psalm 119. I am going to be looking at the verses that address God’s law and the different words used to label God’s law.

Some of the words:

  • law
  • precepts
  • ways
  • commands
  • word

And these are just from the first few verses of this chapter. Psalm 119 is 176 verses long and I will be using the NIV Study Bible as my main source. It is the 1985 copyrighted version, which I prefer over the newer ones. I am also expecting to use the NKJV some.

God’s Law, His word, is where we should be looking for guidance in this world. I was reading through Psalm 119 a few weeks ago and found great encouragement and comfort in the verses here. Then, in Ladies’ Bible Class, something was mentioned about how many different words are used to talk about God’s laws and how each word brings a slightly different focus. I knew then that it was the theme that I had been looking for, waiting for, trying to find, and that Psalm 119 was where to begin.

One other indication that this was the place to begin? Miss J has been working on memory verses for Bible class and we have been singing “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105) This has been in my mind quite often for the past few weeks, including now. 🙂

I don’t know the extent of this study. I am going to follow it where it leads and learn what I can from it. I hope you will join me and read through some, if not all, of the posts as they come your way. Regardless, I am praying that this is a fruitful journey for me and for anyone who follows along.

At Home.

Not Enough

Not Enough

When my friend Casandra asked about personal devotional times, I wondered what I should write. Then this phrase came to mind – Not Enough! It came to mind because it is what I have been feeling a lot lately.

And it is easy to feel. And believe. After all, we see the best of each other’s lives in social media and we don’t necessarily remember that it is not their whole life.

Even when we are not beaten down by things, it is easy to believe we are not enough. I didn’t have the girls do the dishes, again, tonight. We didn’t do a whole bundle of chores today and get the house spit-spot. (Yes, I have been watching Mary Poppins.) We didn’t go anywhere even though the Cultural Arts Festival was today and it would have been a good learning experience. We didn’t, we didn’t, we didn’t.

Those negatives can add up. Fast. So where do I go when I need a boost. Wish I could say that my very first reaction is prayer or the Bible. But honestly, I don’t do that often enough. When I do, though, what I find is peace and reminders that I am enough. God made me to be enough in exactly the right ways. I am enough. And so are you.

We are not to be in commonality with this world. We are strangers, aliens, here, and we should be recognized as such. I Peter 2:11-12 tells us “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

Because of this directive, our lives should look different than that of others who don’t have God. Which means, even when I am not feeling like I am enough, if I am staying away from the “sinful desires which wage war against your soul” and if I am living a good life that others will glorify God, then perhaps I am enough. Perhaps that negative voice is wrong. Sometimes, though, it is hard to be an exile, an alien.

Even in the midst of living as a foreigner, an exile, though, we have the peace of God. How do we have that? Look to Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

So, I don’t need to do everything everyone else is doing. I don’t need to be the same as everyone else. I don’t.

Because I need to reflect God and what that means is I need to reflect what is true.

I need to reflect what is noble.

I need to reflect what is right.

I need to reflect what is pure.

I need to reflect what is lovely.

I need to reflect what is admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.

And when that is where my focus is, my life is aimed, I am enough. Because I am doing what God has directed me to. I may not live up to the world or the social media postings of others. And that is okay. Because God reminds me –

I am enough. And so are you.

At Home.

Rest – an elusive word

Teaching from Rest post

I was given the book (not as a review) Teaching From Rest: Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie. I got around to picking it up last night and I didn’t put it down until I was done. It was that good and that packed full of advice I needed to hear.

I loved where it started – what is rest? We think of this is one way but really, it is a wrong way to think. Thinking of rest as unstressed, peaceful is a start but what she is driving at in this book is not that. It is being fully enveloped in God’s rest and facing each day, each moment, from there, facing what God has placed before you to do. This is teaching from rest.

Throughout the book, Mrs. Mackenzie hits straight and doesn’t hide behind sugar-coated words. She gives clear statements not only of what we are reaching for but how to get there. With short, easy-to-read chapters and subsections, this book is not difficult, except for the painful toes.

It is so easy to get caught up in the expectations and the day-to-day grind, that we as homeschooling moms (even if you aren’t a homeschooling mom but just a mom) often miss the mark. We are aiming for the wrong place, the wrong thing. Mrs. Mackenzie sets us straight with kind but forceful words.

There are 3 parts to the book (in addition to the preface, introduction, afterward, resources, bibliography, etc.):

  • Whose “well-done” are you working for?
  • Curriculum is not something you buy
  • Be who you are

Throughout the writing, there are quotes and encouragements.

While it is clear from some of the passages that she practices a religion that is not the same as mine, there is so much in here that it not about the particular beliefs or religions. It is easy to just skip over those things you may find objectionable (and really, they weren’t objectionable, just not my beliefs) and move on to the helpful parts.

This is a book that I suspect I will be picking up again and again. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

At Home.

I am sharing this because this book really touched me. There was no company involved in asking me to review this. Truly, this just really made a deep impression on me.

To All Who Are Reading This Post ~ Back To Homeschool Blog Hop 2017

To You letter of encouragement

To: You
From: Me

Dear You,

 

Today was a good day. Even if it was hard, it was good. Why? You ask? Because we had today. We don’t know about tomorrow.

We were blessed today. We breathed through it. We saw sunshine or rain or shadow or storm. We say hope and hurt and health and hunger. We saw joy and sorrow and help and so many other things today.

We were blessed. We got to live today. Let us revel in that. Let us rejoice that we were given today and pray that we will have tomorrow. Let us pray that tomorrow our influence with those around us will be a good, Godly one. Let us pray that we will love our family, our friends, and those we come into contact with strongly. Let us pray that the hope we have in Christ will flow out through the words and actions we take each day.

And as you close each day, may you look back on the little moments of joy and hope and gladness and find strength in each one of those for the coming day. May God bless you and strengthen you daily.

At Home.

little victory great joy

This is the final day of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop 2017. Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to catch all of the great posts or you can start right here. The following bloggers are participating this week and have been sharing great posts. Head their way for encouragement.

Rebecca – Our Life ~ Home and School

Rebekah – There Will Be a $5 Charge For Whining

Sabrina – Kids, Crunch, and Christ

Sheila – troutwife

Stephanie – Swinging On Small Hinges

Susan – My Happy Homeschool

Yvie – Gypsy Road

Your Will, God – Blogging Through the Alphabet

Y Your Will God

“Your will, God. Not mine. I want to follow your will.”

Some days that statement is easy. When I am walking a slightly sloping path, either up or down, it is easy to say to God “You will be done.” When the girls get along. When the news is good. When there are holidays, and fireworks, and parties, and family.

But, what about when that path is steep, rugged, harsh? Do we still say the same?

The answer should be yes but how much harder that yes is to say!

And what about when it is not me, myself, that is having to follow that steep, rugged, or harsh path? How do you pray that for others’ paths?

Maybe it is followed by “and please help me to accept Your will with grace and dignity.” Because really, how do you accept the diagnosis of leukemia for a 3 year old child that is so very precious? Or the fact that a 15 year old is facing medical procedures in an attempt to save his life, give him a quality of life that has been missing for years, yet he might not come out of it alive? Or face the reality of life after an accident? What about a future without your spouse, your other half? What about the children who have to move forward without their mom or their dad? Or any number of other scenarios that we don’t want to face or even think about?

I think one of my Bible class students hit it on the head tonight when he prayed “please let us accept the answer you give with grace, knowing that complete healing will come through you.”

Yes. Let us accept Your will, God, with peace, with grace, and with the hope that comes only through you. We will continue on in the begging place, knowing that You hear our prayers and that You do answer, according to Your will. We pray for complete healing for those we love but we pray for Your will to be done and the grace to accept that will peacefully.

At Home.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

 

Happy Independence Day

A quick note to say that I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day, even if you aren’t American and celebrating it today. We sent the oldest giggly girl off on a mission trip first thing this morning and then we will head over to eat some hot dogs with family for lunch. Dinner will probably be with our city’s celebration while waiting for the fireworks over the Bosque River around Baylor. At least that is the plan.

We never know, though, do we? That is a daily reminder as we have had so many that we cherish that have been in pain for one reason or another. Plane crash took the life of a man I attended school with and his son. Husband of a dear friend passed away unexpected, leaving her and her two children to grieve. Sweet boy is in the hospital awaiting testing, hoping to rule out some very serious conditions. Another young man we care about is going to be undergoing some serious medical treatments, the outcome of which is unknown. Many others have lost loved ones recently and we think of them daily. Many others are worried, or hurting, or lost.

Each day can create quite a surprise. That is why, on this Independence Day, I am not only celebrating America’s independence but mine. God has given me a place in this country where I can worship Him and Him alone. I have no fear and know that He is in control. While I pray for peace and healing on this earth, I know that God has the plan in place and that He is giving peace to those who seek Him. Whether peace and healing come on this earth or not, they will come. God is our provider and I rest in that knowledge.

At Home.

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