This Week in Scripture; give thanks!

"Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!" 1 Chronicles 16:8-9

This past week, Americans (including yours truly) celebrated Thanksgiving; most folks stuffed themselves silly with turkey and pumpkin pie, then watched football. Others were content with foodstuffs like cranberry sauce (My personal favorite!) and stuffing. Either way, people love food.

However, the meaning behind this holiday gets lost in the hustle and bustle and shuffle of preparing for the big feast; it's really a day to give thanks and, in my case, it's to thank God for another year of being on this planet.

I was blessed to have my husband here this year (He was in Afghanistan last year.), as well as a good friend of mine. However, I consider myself more blessed because I am a child of God (not by anything that I've done, but what He has done).

Consider yourself blessed if you don't already and give thanks to the LORD!


This Week in Scripture; God condemned sin once and for all.

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. - Romans 8:3-4

I am constantly amazed by God.

I keep finding new things about Him that leave me in awe, make me tremble and burst in praise (Sometimes, all three occur.). In the past few days, I've witnessed several blessings: A friend's new baby (He is adorable, by the way!), another's growing pregnancy (Another boy for her and her husband!), and an acquaintance's adoption announcement (Just found out today; hooray for the happy couple!).

Here's something that caught me completely by surprise: God condemned sin once and for all and condemned it in the flesh. I knew that Jesus died for our sins and we now are covered under His righteousness, but it doesn't sink in until the word "condemned" pops up.

To "condemn" something is to "express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure.
Sentence (someone) to a particular punishment, esp. death: "the rebels had been condemned to death"." (Source: Dictionary.Com) The original word came from Latin (Where else?), which was condemnāre (It eventually found its way to Middle English as condempnen, with some French influence.). It's a very harsh-sounding word, but it's highly appropriate in this case.

Since God condemned sin, that means that we are no longer condemned and we no longer face God's wrath. Also, Christ fulfilled the requirements for us (That's what "under grace" means; Someone else paid our price and we reap the benefits without merit whatsoever.), but it doesn't mean that we can go on sinning (The Apostle Paul constantly points this out!). We, as Christians, are to happily and lovingly serve God and to mortify sin.

Isn't it awesome when God amazes you?


This Week in Scripture; peace and pondering.

There are many who say, "Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!" You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. - Psalm 4:6-8

One thing that I've noticed in my faith walk: If I have a quiet time with God first thing in the morning, my attitude is almost always peaceful and content; I manage to have a good day, even with hiccups and goofs. When I don't, I'm in a foul mood and I try my hardest not to let it affect my husband or daughter (I often fail in that sad endeavor.).

For some folks, that seems like a no-brainer; by now, it's become a habit to do a daily devotional or to carve out some time for prayer. In my case, it's been a "Well, duh!" moment. It's a good reminder that one who isn't sure of her foothold is one that will be washed away. I don't want to be washed away; I want a solid foundation that's set on Christ!

This week, I'm focusing on the rest of the psalm; I'll be paying quite a bit of attention to verse 8, which shows that a peaceful heart is one that trusts in the LORD. It ties in with the previous verse, which we're to "ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent" (Psalm 4:4); to reflect on God's glory and His holiness isn't a bad thing. To be firm on that faith is a blessing indeed.


Watch for bandaids on fingers!

She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. - Proverbs 31:13
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. - Proverbs 31:19

For the majority of people that know me, they know that I'm a klutz; it's a given that I find bruises on my shins and I have no clue how I got them (In fact, I have a bruise that's just going away on my left leg.). I can trip over my own feet with relative ease and without anything to trip over (Would you call it a gift without laughing? I sure can't!).

I'm thankful my cat doesn't target me; she targets my husband instead. :)

While I may be klutzy, I also have the urge to do something with my hands; they're usually occupied by two to four needles and a bunch of yarn (Sometimes, something cute comes from that work!).

Lately, I've been wanting to sew. A part of that comes from the fact that I have a hard time finding skirts that are modest (and that I don't have to alter) and affordable (Affordable on an enlisted Marine's salary, that is.); another part is that I want to stay occupied. I honestly believe that God doesn't make us lazy; we do that to ourselves (and we're quite good at it, if we're truly honest with ourselves). That and "other things" get in the way of busyness; we loaf around and we claim to be "bored"...until we have to do something (Cleaning a room, doing dishes or taking out the trash, for example.).

I've found a couple of patterns that look easy and I cut out the pieces of one to put a tunic together (My practice piece, if you will.). Here's to not stabbing myself with pins or needles! :D


This Week in Scripture; anger and modesty are related!

Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD. - Psalm 4:4-5

I'll be the first to admit that I have a bad temper (In fact, I believe I touched up on this topic a while back.) and the Holy Spirit has convicted me in that regard (That's one reason why I don't curse; that and I don't want "unwholesome talk to come out of my mouth" (See Ephesians 4:29; it's "corrupting talk" in the ESV.), but it's better to edify others instead of bring folks down.

Focusing on the behavior instead helps; to lovingly correct a friend or loved one is difficult, but it needs to be done and it should be done with love on the mind. The offending party needs to stress this to the offender; the offender should consider that his or her actions are offensive and need to repent. I've had one or two people do this to me and I've been grateful for the correction; unfortunately, I've also had folks that didn't bother and let me continue in sin. That grieved me more than the original offense.

Since I have desired to be more modest, I've been more and more concerned about how I am modest inwardly. To be modest on the outside is not enough; a Christian needs to be modest in appearance AND in thought. That's where the hypocrites fail; they're fine with looking nice and clean-cut on the outside, but are incredibly filthy inward. Christ Himself constantly warned us of that by pointing to the Pharisees, who had rules on top of the many rules that they followed; yet, when it came down to the spirit of the Law, they conveniently didn't bother with it. They rather have had their checklists and ignore the entire point of the Law (That is, God separated the Hebrews from everyone else and made them unique; they were made uniquely His.).

I urge you to not only be modest outwardly, but to be more than willing to be modest inwardly; speak encouragingly and with edifying words. Peace be with you today!