Sunday, January 23, 2011


A few weeks ago, this blog post by Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience inspired me to consider memorizing Colossians this year. I really didn't want to formally commit to it, because I was afraid I would fail. So I just sort of toyed with the idea, rolled it around in my head, and thought about it some more. I even learned a verse or two, but I was still unwilling to say or think, "I am going to do this." However, this Sunday, I decided to make the commitment when my pastor challenged our church to spend more time listening to God. A friend or two has even agreed to join me on this adventure, and I think that will help keep me on track.

By the way, the original meaning (around 1590) of the word memorize is "to commit to writing." It wasn't until around 1838 that memorize came to mean to commit to memory (or the mind). It's my desire that memorizing Colossians will not only commit the book to my mind, but to my heart and that the results will be seen in my life.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A First Step Toward Simplicity

Last week my facebook status read, "Why am I so attracted to books on organizing when I am so seldom organized?" I feel the same way about simplicity. I say I want to live a simple life, but too often I make it complicated. This week I've been working on Chapter 1 of Becoming a Woman of Simplicity. Part of the assignment was to meditate on Psalm 23 and answer some questions about what it means. Today I am posting a personalized application of Psalm 23 which I wrote out several years ago.

Praying through Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; God cares for me. He provides for all my needs, and guides me on my way, just like a shepherd cares for his sheep. I can trust Him.

I have everything I need. I can be content. I don’t have to worry about food, or clothing, or a place to sleep. God will provide for me. I can trust Him.

He lets me rest in green meadows. Rest! I can be at peace. I don’t have to be agitated. I don’t have to be perfect to receive God’s love. He gives me rest instead. I just have to trust Him.

He leads me beside peaceful streams. Peace! Walking or sitting beside a stream (or any kind of water) is my idea of the perfect day. Enjoying God and His creation produces calmness of spirit in me. I am content just to be with Him. He knows the way, so I don’t have to worry about where to go. I can trust Him.

He renews my strength. When I feel weak, God gives me His strength. He makes me a new creation! (Gal. 2:20) Troublesome circumstances look different when I have His perspective. I can trust Him.

He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. I don’t have to rely on my own skills, or find my own way. He will show me the best way to honor Him. I don’t have to worry or fret about where I am going. I can trust Him.

Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. The darkness isn’t scary, because God, the shepherd, is right beside me. Fear is gone, because the shepherd nurtures and protects me. I can trust Him.

Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. God’s discipline is for my good. His discipline shapes my character. I can trust Him.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. I can trust the shepherd to provide for me. He will bring justice when I have been wronged. I don’t have to. I can trust Him.

You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil. God welcomes me into his family. He makes me feel important and loved, and treats me like royalty. I am precious and honored in His sight . I can trust Him.

My cup overflows with blessings. In Him there is abundance! Knowing Him is all I need. I can trust Him.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life. God satisfies my desire for love. I am always in His thoughts. I don’t have to worry that His love for me will “run out.” His love is always seeking the best for me. I can trust Him.

And I will live in the house of the Lord forever. I am His forever. His love is eternal. Forsaking All I Trust Him (FAITH).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keep a Quiet Heart

This morning I joined a new bible study and we are studying Becoming a Woman of Simplicity by Cynthia Heald. One of the Bible verses we read today reminded me of a quote I read a few years ago in Elisabeth Elliot's book Keep a Quiet Heart. I needed to be reminded of these wise words.

Do Not Rush. TRUST. And Keep a Quiet Heart.
" I think I find most help in trying to look on all the interruptions and hindrances to work that one has planned out for oneself as discipline, trials sent by God to help one against getting selfish over one's work. Then one can feel that perhaps one's true work - one's work for God - consists in doing some trifling haphazard thing that has been thrown into one's day. It is not a waste of time as one is tempted to think. It is the most important part of the work of the day - the part one can best offer to God. After such a hindrance, do not rush after the planned work' trust that the time to finish it will be given sometime, and keep a quiet heart about it."
- Annie Keary

Sometimes I get so focused on my own agenda - on getting my work done, that I don't really consider what it might be that God wants me to do on any certain day. Maybe my work for the day is to help someone else, or maybe it is to spend time alone with God.

Isaiah 30:15 - This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it."