Monthly Archives: September 2012

Verse 18

Happy beautiful fall day, Siestas!

Did anyone have a chance to watch Beth Moore’s simulcast today? I’d love to hear about it!

Wow, 18 verses, that’s nine months of scripture memory work! If you have made it this far (and I think most everyone who has been posting has made it this far at least TWICE!), GOOD FOR YOU! And I mean good for you, as in good work! And good for you, as in, who can even imagine the amazing impact that memorizing 18 verses from God’s own Holy Word can have on a person and the ripple effect emanating from them? Twice??? Keep up the great work!

Last year at this time I found myself very anxious. Many changes outside my control were made in our homeschooling organization which were causing me a great deal of stress, plus my Dad’s battle with cancer was going downhill rapidly. The reality that he would probably die soon was overwhelming to me. So last September I chose some familiar verses from Philippians, 4:6-7:

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

These were and are a concise source of considerable comfort. Of course I don’t take them to mean that by our praying the Lord automatically gives us everything we want, rather that when we truly give our requests to God, He gives us His peace in return, which can seem incomprehensible in many situations. I experienced this myself, and I have seen it time and again in those around me. Oh it can be hard, I admit. To present a request for the healing of a loved one or whatever else is burdening us with thanksgiving… only with God is this possible. But He does not fail to bless us in return.

I find it interesting that the current verses we are working on in the Sermon on the Mount echo the same sentiment:

Matthew 6:25-34:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

That is a long passage, and it overlaps with last week’s, plus probably goes past where we will end before my next post, but I think this is a good time to reflect on all these verses. It’s a time when people are worrying about elections and the economy and international political strife, among many other more personal things. It is good to be reminded that this is not our home, and that we are not supposed to worry. Jesus said so.

This weekend I was involved a discussion about the current climate of world affairs and the troubled times we live in, and someone I love very dearly and respect immensely said this:

“It is God’s world. He has a plan. And evil does not win.”

Amen.

Love you Siestas! Please post below! I am reading and thankful for your comments even if it is taking me forever to respond!

Verse 17

Happy Labor Day weekend, Siestas! We are on our annual camping trip in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, enjoying the sound of the rushing river, the sights of the beautiful canyon and wilderness, and the conveniences of electricity, running water and wifi in our tent camper. My kind of camping.

Last year at this time I was camping in this very same spot, but I had just returned from a weekend reunion with Bible study sisters in California. We had planned that reunion shortly after starting the memory verse challenge in January 2011. It was a blessed time, highlighted for me by a visit to our old home church, the 1st Presbyterian Church of Hollister. Perhaps those of us in attendance were primed and ready to be moved because of the joyous and uplifting nature of our reunion, but it seemed as though every song and every word and every precious word from the Scripture was speaking directly to us. I chose my next memory verses from that sermon.

Romans 12:10-12

Be devoted to one another in brotherly (sisterly) love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (parenthetical mine)

I love these verses. And I love how God’s Living Word gives you just the right verse at just the right time when you need it. Have you ever felt that?

This year we continue with the Sermon on the Mount. It hardly seems possible that we are nearing the end of Chapter 6, and that Chapter 7 contains the fewest verses of the 3 chapters we will memorize this year. Last time I shared that I was behind in my memory work, but with the return to school and some semblance of a routine (harried though it is), I have been able to catch up. I don’t feel confident in all of Chapter 6, but I know that it will come with regular practice. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment I get from working on the scriptures and committing them to memory, but even more, I cherish the knowledge that God has blessed and will continue to bless His Word hidden in my heart, and that those Words will bear fruit in my life as I try to live by them and share them with those around me.

Matthew 6:22-26

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Though the memorizing is coming more easily, the understanding does not always follow right away. I have been pondering these verses, particularly those about light and darkness. It helps to read the commentary I have been using, written by John Stott, Google other insight (like this very helpful piece by John Piper), and to follow my friend Cara’s blog, because she is doing a good deal more research and study on these verses, but sometimes just meditating on them eventually brings light and understanding which I believe comes directly from the Father. I also believe that He can and does use the same words to say different things to people, and even gives different meanings to the same words to me at different times. What I know for certain is that I have never been touched or moved or inspired more by any words more than His.

The Lord bless you and keep you! Please post your verses and comments below, and thank you as always for your company on this journey!