Sorry I’m late! VERY late!

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Ok – here’s the week….I hope you kept reading even though I hadn’t posted anything!!!!

Mon   Exo 28-30     Matt 22:1-22

Tues   Exo 31-33     Matt 22:23-46

Wed   Exo 34-35     Matt 23

Thurs   Exo 36-37     Matt 24:1-28

Fri   Exo 38-39     Matt 24:29-51

Sat   Exo 40    Matt 25

Sun  Leviticus 1-2    Matt 26:1-29

I will do my very best not to be late again!

*~*~Toni~*~*

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Bible Reading Challenge wk of 1/26-2/1/09

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Sorry this wasn’t up yesterday!  I was out of town, and forgot to schedule this post!  Anyway, without further ado…..:

Mon:  Exo 13-14    Matt 18:1-20

Tues:  Exo 15-16    Matt 18:21-35

Wed:  Exo 17-18    Matt 19

Thurs:  Exo 19-20     Matt 20:1-16

Fri:  Exo 21-22    Matt 20:17-34

Sat:  Exo 23-24    Matt  21:1-22

Sun:  Exo 25-27    Matt 21:23-46

Everything happens for a reason….but whose reason is it?

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I know someone who is very fond of saying, “Everything happens for a reason,” meaning that everything that happens is supposed  to happen.   It’s actually a fatalistic view of the world, of course – depending on who says it.

You see, when a Christian says, “Everything happens for a reason,” what he or she means is that the Lord can use anything for the good of His Kingdom.  However, the actual statement, is somewhat faulty.  Let’s examine.

God is in complete control – period.  However, BECAUSE He allows us free will, things happen everyday that are outside the will of God.  For instance:  adultery, murder, homosexuality, unwed mothers, theft, idolatry, gossip, etc., are ALL outside the will of God.   God CAN use those experiences for good, but that is because He can REDEEM a situation – NOT because He condones it.

The things that happened in my past – wait, let me rephrase – the things that I did in my past are there because I chose to do them – NOT because God wanted me to do them, or to have those experiences.  Quite the contrary – had I lived within His will for my whole life, I would have been spared much of the pain of the guilt of sin.  But, I chose my own way for a season.  Some would say, “Everything happens for a reason.”  But, whose reason is it?

The truth is, the things that happened in my past happened for my reasons.  They were what I wanted.  They were not what God had planned for my life.  He knew it would happen.  He allowed it to happen.  And in his infinite grace and wisdom, He chose to REDEEM my life IN SPITE OF WHAT I DID.

That’s the key – in spite of me.  God redeemed my life, saved my soul, and gave me hope not because of me, but in spite of me

God calls us to obedience, and through obedience, He can bless us.  But when we are disobedient, He sometimes allows us to feel the sting of the consequences of our actions so that we can learn a lesson for next time. 

Regardless, we serve a God who is in the Miracle Making Business.  In fact, He has a monopoly on the market.  So, when the world condemns a situation, God can redeem it for His purposes.  This is evidenced by Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”  In my KJV Bible, the word His is italicized.  Emphasized.  Special.  It is THE word to take note of in this verse – HIS purpose. 

So, yes, in a sense, I guess everything happens for a reason.  But, we need to be very careful in placing the blame of reason where it rightly belongs.  Did it happen because God supernaturally caused it to happen (and He can!)?  Or, did it happen because we were living outside the will of God and ignored His laws and precepts?

Bible Reading Challenge wk of 1/19-25/09

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Here’s your weekly reading schedule:

Mon:  Gen 45-46        Matt 13:1-36

Tues:  Gen 47-48        Matt 13:37-58

Wed:  Gen 49-50        Matt 14

Thurs:   Exodus 1-3        Matt 15:1-20

Fri:  Exodus 4-6        Matt 15:21-39

Sat:  Exodus 7-9        Matt 16

Sun:  Exodus 10-12        Matt 17

Ok, gang….we’ve read through Genesis….what’d you think?  It is SO hard to pick a favorite story!  One of mine is when the Lord told Abraham that Sarah would have a child and Sarah laughed…lol.  I like what happened next!

What about you?

From Helen Keller

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“Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness.”               Helen Keller

Smart woman….very smart woman.

When you say, “I’ll pray for you”

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Your cousin’s mother-in-law is going for surgery in a week.  Your cousin asks you to pray.  You say you will.

Your best friend says she is worried about her finances and asks you to pray for God to show her what to do.  You promise to pray daily until He answers her.

Your brother asks you to pray for his marriage.  You agree to pray daily, without fail, until his marriage is back on track and winning again.

But, life happens.  You pray, but the prayers are for things you need just to make it through the day.  You ask God to help you find your lost car keys, make it to the doctor’s office on time, and to make that last $50 stretch until payday.  You remember your promises to pray for your friends and family, so you say a rushed prayer while you drive to the grocery store.  You know you should do more, but the time just slips away.

Does this sound like you?  I’m not judging, because I have been there all too often, myself.  The question is, who are we short-changing when we fail to pray like we promised?

In my humble opinion, we are doing ourselves a disservice.  Don’t get me wrong, the person we are praying for definitely receives a benefit, too, but we miss even more.  We miss the opportunity to go before the God of the universe and plead for a fellow believer.  And sometimes, we have the opportunity to plead for the salvation of another human.  We get to wrestle with demons for that person’s eternal destiny!

But, all too often, we don’t.  We miss the boat.  We throw up a quick prayer and hope God counts it as a real one.  Yes, quick prayers are good sometimes – sometimes they are all we can manage in certain situations!  But, when there is something big – salvation, health, marriage, etc – at stake, we owe God and the recipient more than a few seconds.

I challenge you to spend a minimum of 3  minutes of prayer for EACH person or situation you have agreed to pray for – daily.  For 5 people, that only adds 15 minutes to your prayer time.  You can do it!  (You may need to get up an extra 15 minutes earlier, but, you can do it!)

Bible Reading Challenge wk of 1/12-18/09

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Ok gang….here’s the schedule for the week.  Keep in mind, if you can’t read exactly as is each day, just do your best to catch up by the end of the week!

Mon:  Gen 30-31    Matt 9:1-17

Tues:  Gen 32-33    Matt 9:18-38

Wed:  Gen 34-35    Matt 10:1-24

Thurs:  Gen 36-38    Matt 10:25-42

Fri:  Gen 39-40    Matt 11

Sat:  Gen 41-42    Matt 12:1-24

Sun:  Gen 43-44    Matt 12:25-50

Almost done with Genesis!  What’s your favorite story so far?

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