Category Archives: Spiritual Growth

Interest in The 7 Experiment

It has been gratifying this week to see that there are ladies who are willing to take on The 7 Experiment challenge and boldly declare mutiny on the excess in our lives in the areas of food, clothing, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress.

Each discussion I’ve had has revealed that we are all in pretty much the same boat. There is excess in some or all areas of our lives and it is causing anxiety, guilt and stress. We want to change but motivation, discipline and encouragement are lacking. We want to put some space around our “stuff”, we want, as Jen says, “to create space for the Holy Spirit to move”, we want to see God move in a mighty way in our lives.

I am excited to see what the Lord does through this study. I believe it is His will that are lives are open and free for His movement. He will reward our desire with results as we come to Him admitting our weakness and dependence knowing we cannot do it without Him. Jesus tells us this in John 15:5,

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (ESV)

I like the way the Amplified Bible says it,

I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. (AMP)

Come on! Jump in with both feet. The Lord has amazing things in store for you. Promise!

Get more info about the study at here. Sign-up by contacting me at abiding@cfl.rr.com or register at alomachurch.org. Or, you can use the contact form below.

Advertisements

The Call of Love

As we begin our journey through Six Secrets to a Powerful Quiet Time I want to share this devotion I read in class in case you want to add it to your Quiet Time journal.

THE CALL OF LOVE
by Frances J. Roberts

O My beloved, abide under the shelter of the lattice for I have betrothed you to Myself, and though you are sometimes indifferent toward Me, My love for you is at all times as a flame of fire. My ardor never cools. My longing for your love and affection is deep and constant.

Tarry not for an opportunity to have more time to be alone with Me. Take it, though you leave the tasks at hand. Nothing will suffer. Things are of less importance than you think. Our time together is like a garden full of flowers, whereas the time you give to things is as a field full of stubble.

I love you, and if you can always, as it were, feel My pulse beat, you will receive insight that will give you sustaining strength. I bore your sins and I wish to carry your burdens. You may take the gift of a light and merry heart, for my love dispels all fear and is a cure for every ill. Lay your head upon My breast and lose yourself in me. You will experience resurrection life and peace; the joy of the Lord will become your strenth; and wells of salvation will be opened within you (see Song of Solomon 2:9-13)

The entire second paragraph spoke so loudly to me. Are these not the very things that hinder us? The tasks that are a part of each of our roles in life overwhelm us and choke out the life-giving time we could spend with the Lord. Instead, we wander through our routines half-dead spiritually for lack of time with the Lord. Continue reading

Tullian Tchividjian: Today’s Favorite Links

I haven’t been able to get any posts up because of many personal reasons so I will rely on the work of Others, much better Others, I might add.

I have only recently heard of Tullian Tchividjian and having read a couple of his blog posts have come to love what he has to say. He is easy to read but writes wisely and profoundly. I have one of his books on my shelf but haven’t read it. Gonna change that right now! Well, after I get this post done anyway.

Find below some links to a few of my recent favorites from his blog. These are a little long so will only give you three to ponder. Let me know what you think.

 Are Christians Totally Depraved

What Kind of Pastor Do Sinners Need?

Where Can I Find Assurance?

 William Graham Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) is the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. A Florida native, Tullian is also the grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham.

ARE YOU A WALKING BIBLE?

Spiritual Affirmation
Reading and obeying God’s Word will cause you to walk a straight path.

Walking Bibles
“Give me understanding, and I will keep Your law

 and obey it with all my heart.” Psalm 119:34

Determine to PRACTICE whatever you read. Christians should be walking Bibles, living the truths written. The Word is not only a guide to knowledge, but a guide to obedience. A holy reading of God’s Word, results in our fleeing from sins, and practicing the duties commanded.

“I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I
 might obey Your word.” Psalm 119:101

Read more by Puritan pastor Thomas Watson.

NEW BIBLE STUDY: 1 JOHN

How to Know You Have Eternal Life (11 lessons) 
Join me as we dig deep into the book of 1 John.

How do you know if you’re really born again? What does it mean to be holy. . . to love God? Find answers to these and other questions as you take a look back at the fundamentals of Christian beliefs.

Beginning Wednesday, January 18 at 6:30.
Aloma Church

For more details or to register please contact Janice at abiding@cfl.rr.com.

READING THE BIBLE IN 2012: SHOULD I?

Should I read the Bible in 2012?
Yes, I should, and will, read the Bible in 2012. That is a real simple question to answer and a simple task to accomplish because I am a Bible study leader and spend several hours a week in God’s word.

But the task I haven’t been able to manage in my Christian walk is reading the ENTIRE Bible in a year. I am a great starter and a terrible finisher. I bet some of you know what I mean. How many times have you read about the Creation, the flood, the stories about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph? Maybe you made it to Exodus and suffered with the Israelites in their salvery and rejoiced in their escape from Egypt with Moses. BUT! Then you hit Leviticus! How often I have said this and heard it, “I was fine until I got to Leviticus then I lost it. I guess I’ll never read through the entire Bible.”

I am hesitant to begin again. I am afraid I will once again be marking February as “Read Through the Bible Failure Month”. I look back at all my attempts, all my quittings, all my slacking off, lack of discipline and become overwhelmed. My heart droops low and says, I don’t want to be a disappointment to God again, I don’t want to make a new commitment that I know I probably won’t keep.

All this runs through my head as I prepare my bookmarks for a reading plan I have commited myself to. Yes! I did. I remembered that God loves me whether I read through the entire Bible in one year or not. I am convinced He is a God of new beginnings (no matter how many I need). I started to dwell on the fact that His mercies are new every morning. I began to pray that the Holy Spirit would sustain me throughout the year to complete a journey through His inspired Word. My hope and desire have surged.

What about you? Maybe you read through the Bible yearly. Pray for those of us who struggle. Maybe you are starting a new read-through plan this year. Rely on the Spirit of God, not yourself. Maybe you don’t even think that you need to do this. Consider that all of the Bible is God’s words to you. Ponder the idea that He has things to say to you that you can’t even imagine. Things that will prosper and bless you.

I am starting with a fresh attitude and a complete understanding of my own weakness. Here is what I heard from James MacDonald the other day. Maybe you don’t feel like reading the Bible today. Don’t wait – do it first and feel it later! Amazing! I needed to hear that, do you? Don’t wait til you feel it, just do it!

Below are some plans for reading through the Bible and some articles about why and how. Choose a plan that will work best for you. Set your heart toward this task and let God open the doors of desire, willingness and victory.

Here is the plan I am using. I am going the boot-camp route because I want the challenge. It is called the 3650 Challenge.

Gospel Coalition: Bible Reading Plans for 2012

More Bible Reading Plans at WordWise Women

S.O.A.P Plan for reading the Bible and journaling

Do you need to plan? See what John Piper says.

Here is an article by Noel Piper that is full of grace and encouragement to get through the entire Bible. Start anytime, read anywhere. Love this. I am sticking with my decision to use the 3560 plan but I will use Noel’s method next year.

My prayer for you is that you will be in God’s Word. Maybe you can finish in a year, maybe you stretch it to two or more. Just read it! Don’t let another day, week, or year go by without hearing all the Lord has to say to you. I’m really excited, how about you?

Practicing the Presence of God While Cleaning Your Refrigerator

Messy Fridge

I don’t know about you but I hate cleaning my fridge. If I would keep after it as I go it would be so easy. And, I do that right after I clean it. Those shiny glass shelves and purposeful looking food items inspire in me a commitment to purge and clean often.

But, let a few too many leftovers invade, a bottle of salad dressing we didn’t like take up sticky residence on a shelf and a bitsy chunk of expensive cheese get moldy in the Deli drawer and all bets are off. I am a failure! Don’t try to talk me out of it with organization techniques and self-esteem pep talks. I am a failure in the Clean Refrigerator Club. I have been for 30 years of marriage and even before that and I don’t see anything changing soon.

The worst thing is I do it so rarely that once I take all the shelves out I can’t remember where they go and how to get them back in. While my mayo is going bad on the kitchen counter, I’m wresting with those nice on-the-door compartments. Thank goodness my husband works from home. But, I have to say, he had a hard time figuring this puzzle out too.

Okay, you’re wondering what this has to do with anything, much less spending time with the Lord. Well, I’ll tell you. As I was hauling all those plastic containers out and scrubbing down the shelves I began praying. I began thanking the Lord for His abundant provision. I prayed for those who don’t have enough to eat much less a refrigerator to keep it in. I thanked God for the electricity that runs the fridge. I hear Japan may be losing all access to electric power if all their nuclear power plants go down. How long will it take them to recover.

I began confessing to the Lord that I am not a good steward of what He has provided as I threw away food I could have found a use for but was too lazy. I did think I might be able to find a recipe online to use up that half jar of Plum Sauce I bought back when I thought I would cook Asian Cuisine. But, I don’t remember what it smelled like fresh and I didn’t like how it smelled old so I tossed it. (I did save the jar but the label is a booger to get off!)

So, I thought I would share with you that any task can be turned into an opportunity to spend time with the Lord. He won’t care whether you’re cleaning the fridge or the toilet. He loves to hear from you. He loves to be invited into whatever we are doing. Practice will make perfect!

Abiding,
Janice