Monthly Archives: August 2012

Verse 16

It does not even seem possible that it’s August 15 already. Anybody else feel that way? Where did the summer go?

Last year at this time I chose a familiar passage, Galatians 5:22-23:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I think I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed by my previous verses and their impact (Romans 8:38-89) and needed something gentle, a loving reminder of what could come from abiding in the Spirit. Thank you Lord!

I was recently blessed to spend a long weekend with 4 very dear friends who I first came to know through Bible study in Hollister, California, and more recently reconnected with over scripture memorization. They all accepted the challenge to hide God’s word in their hearts with me last year, and out of that commitment was born what we hope will be annual reunions for years to come. Our time together was so sweet and uplifting in so many ways, inspiring, relaxing, challenging, inspirational, but above all blessed by the Lord’s Spirit. We sang, prayed, studied Scriptures, talked, and even shared a “Jesus feast,” comprised solely of foods that Jesus would have eaten. I am so blessed to know that this precious, unforgettable time came out of the simple but powerful idea to commit God’s Word to our hearts.

This year, as at this time last year, I am feeling slightly overwhelmed by the activity of the summer, and I confess, I am behind in the passages I am working on now. I should be memorizing the following:

Matthew 6:16-21

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I haven’t even begun to work on committing these verses to memory yet. So if you are feeling discouraged because you are not where you had hoped or planned to be right now, don’t despair. Keep going, the Lord will honor your efforts. School starts for us next week, and with that my routine will become more regular and hopefully less harried. I know that every moment I devote to working on these scriptures will produce the fruit of the Spirit in my life, so I will not give up. Satan would love for me to say, “Can’t do it, too far behind, throwing in the towel,” because he knows the power that will come from God’s mighty word being imprinted on my heart or anyone else’s. I won’t give him the satisfaction. Instead I will trust in the Lord and lean not on my own understanding, in all ways lean on and acknowledge his loving guidance, and allow him to make my paths straight. (Prov 3:5-6, paraphrase mine). Will you join me?

Please post your verses below, and any struggles, and any encouragement!

The Lord bless you and keep you, make his face shine upon you, and give you peace.

Verse 15

Buon giorno! My daughter and I just returned last night from a mission/choir trip to Italy. What an amazing experience! But more on that later, for now, our verses!

Last year I chose Romans 8:38-39:

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 At this time last year it was becoming clear that my Dad was not likely to survive his battle with cancer. We knew that God could, at any moment, offer a miracle of healing, but we began to reconcile ourselves to the likelihood that it was not going to play out that way.  It was a difficult time for me. I had experienced loss from death, but never so near. My Dad and I had always been very close, and I was having a great deal of trouble bearing the thought of losing him. These verses, along with all the rest I had committed to memory by this time last year, helped me beyond measure, because I began to ask myself “What is the worst thing that can happen to a person? Is it really death?” And these particular verses helped me begin to believe that the answer was not death, but separation from Christ, whether in life or death. This is an incredibly freeing concept. I have asked myself many times since then, in much less dire circumstances than losing a dear close relative, “What is the worst thing that could happen?” And the answer is always, “Well since I have Christ in me, and there is nothing, including death, life, angels, demons, the present, the future, any height, and depth, nor anything else in all creation that can separate me from Him, there really isn’t any such thing as the worst thing.” I can’t even express how much this helped me in facing my dear Dad’s passing.

This year, we continue with the Sermon on the Mount, through the Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-15:

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, 
hallowed be your name,

10 your kingdom come,
 your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Powerful, beautiful. My friend Cara provides wonderful insight into these and the preceding verses in her blog, please feel free to join in the discussion.

Thank you again for your participation in this adventure, please post your verses and comments below. The Lord bless you and keep you!