Category Archives: Word for Wednesday

Making Yourself Miserable

One of the daily devotionals that I read is from Elisabeth Elliot – it is always refreshing, often challenging and very inspiring.  This mornings entry was simple, yet profound and true.  Are you making yourself miserable today?

Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

  1. Count your troubles, name them one by one–at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.
  2. Worry every day about something. Don’t let yourself get out of practice. It won’t add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.
  3. Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.
  4. Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man’s gotta live.
  5. Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and where they’re going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.
  6. Stay away from absolutes. It’s what’s right for you that matters. Be your own person and don’t allow yourself to get hung up on what others expect of you.
  7. Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people’s. You have your life to live, they have theirs.
  8. Don’t fall into any compassion traps–the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people’s troubles, you may neglect your own.
  9. Don’t let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what’s really relevant–things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones–they’re where it’s at now.

If you would like to receive Elisabeth Elliots daily devotions in your email inbox (or even to your handheld device) you can find hers and many others here.

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Word for Wednesday

 

“Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea– the Lord on high is mighty.” Psalm 93:4

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?  You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:  all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,  the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.  O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” 

Psalm 8

“But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

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Word for Wednesday – An uncommon life

After yesterdays Tea Time Tuesday exhortation to make the choice to live an “uncommon” life…I am posting my daughter Michelle’s valedictorian speech she gave this past June at JECHS graduation.  I hope it inspires you to live an uncommon life!

Michelle’s Valedictorian Graduation Message

I have been brought up in a home of girls. Not only do I have five sisters, but on my mom’s side of the family there are 14 granddaughters and until just recently there were no grandsons. I know – it is almost unbelievable that after my parents had six girls that this year on April 20 they had a boy! We have always felt unique in being all girls! In fact whenever we go out shopping or to the movies we always wear our crowns and tiaras. We know we are princesses, and now we definitely have a prince – but don’t worry we won’t make him join the tradition of going around in a tiara!

We are all royalty!

1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God”

  • We are not orphans…….We are children of the King
  • We are not common……We have blue blood running through our veins
  • We are not peasants……We are royalty!

Yes – We were once commoners, we were once peasants, we were once orphans until we were brought into the King’s palace and made part of His royal family. We have been crowned by the King of Kings!

So welcome kings, queens, princes and princesses to this celebration of the graduating class of 2007.

Now, what is our place in the King’s court? What has been given to us as our royal duty?

The answer is found in the second part of our scripture 1 Peter 2:9. The Message Bible says it this way, “We are God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him – to tell others of the night & day difference He made for us – from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted” and we could add from common to uncommon.We are called to live an uncommon life among the common to show others Christ and make a difference in the world for Him! We are all asked to do God’s work and to tell others about what He has done for us all. He has done so much!

Over 2000 years ago God sent His Son to die for the sin of all mankind. Each of us has sinned, none of us can make it to heaven on our own. We are weak, but the Lord is strong. He came down to earth in the form of a man to make a way for us to know Him and spend eternity in heaven. Most of us know the words, “For God so loved the world He sent His one and only Son” – His name is Jesus.

  • We were not created to live an “average” life for God.
  • We were not made to live a common life, but an uncommon life.
  • We are not here to survive in our world, but to make a profound difference in our world

One of my heroes was most uncommon in his day. William Wilberforce was born the son of a wealthy merchant, and at the young age of 21 became a member of the English parliament. As an adult convert to Christianity, he penned these words in his personal journal, “God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of society.” It was not until after William asked Christ into His life that he knew he had an uncommon life to live. In 1807, the Slave Trade Act led by Wilberforce passed with a vote of 283 to 16.

Amy Carmichael was called to the mission field, she was called to save the lives of women and children. Amy started an orphanage for children on the streets of India. Because of the uncommon life Amy chose to live, her orphanage was a sanctuary to over a thousand children. She served in India without furlough for 55 years.

Just 10 years ago a group of uncommon Christians came together with the dream to start a high school. The vision was to start a discipleship school to train up young people to serve God and make a difference in the world. Jim Elliot Christian High School is a training ground to be uncommon amongst a common world.

The namesake of our school, Jim Elliot, lived with a passion that was uncommon to those around him. God called him to the Auca tribe down in the jungles of Ecuador, a tribe that was yet to be reached with the gospel. It took a man like Jim Elliot and those with him to take on the daunting task of reaching such a fierce tribe.

What will you do to make a difference? Like these men and women what is God calling you to do?

Whether you are 17 or 70 God is calling you to an uncommon life. He has a great adventure for you, a plan to use you to show others how He brought you from the darkness into the light.

Let me assure you that this will not be easy, and you will face many obstacles and much opposition. Some of the opposition will even come from your closest friends and family, maybe even other Christians.

Wilberforce struggled for 20 long years to abolish the slave trade; his health suffered and he faced opposition not only from those against him in Parliament but eventually even from his closest friend and supporter, William Pitt.

Amy Carmichael was not the best candidate for the mission field. From birth she struggled with a disease of the nervous system that caused her much pain and forced her to be on bed rest for long periods of time.

I remember very well the year that Elliot was founded. There were many doubters that this school would ever exist. People commented “It will never happen”, “No one will apply for a school that doesn’t have a building yet!”, and “You will never have enough money”. But, here we are years later and the students sitting before you are the 9th graduating class of Jim Elliot Christian High school.

As God was with these men and women so He is with you. This is His plan for your life and if He is for you than who can be against you.

Graduates, I hope to one day see Jana Wall rescuing orphaned children overseas, Ernie DeLosAngeles touching the lives of young people, and Amanda Collins using her photography skills to show the hunger and need in the world.

As some of you know we also have an ambassador of Christ in our class going to Norway. I can’t wait to hear how Cecilia Hallberg is changing her homeland for the Lord!

I hope that one day my name will be among those responsible for the saving of millions of babies from the atrocity of abortion. Or maybe I will be an investigator with International Justice Mission working to end oppression across the nations.

And so I ask what will you do to make a difference? How will you affect this world to further the kingdom of God? How is God calling you to stand out and be different?

This is not a time of common men; this your time to be uncommon!

 These two ’07 JECHS graduates – Michelle & Jana are already living an uncommon life as they serve in short term missions in Africa!

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Word for Wednesday – The Lord is speaking

I woke up this morning, with a verse that I have not pondered since my college days, clearly upon my mind and in my heart-

Psalm 127:2  “God grants sleep to those He loves”

It was one of those moments that I knew the Lord was speaking to me directly.  The past month my life has consisted of very little sleep…besides working very late into the wee hours of the morning several times a week, I also have a sweet baby who nurses at least once if not twice during my “sleeping” hours and has got it into his mind that 6:30am is a perfectly fine time to get up for the day. (I however am not, nor have ever been, a “morning” person and would love for a wake up call to be a bit later…say 8 or 9am)

Last night however I got to sleep for 9 hours (not without nursing once…but still 9 full hours!) and when I awoke with this verse being sweetly and softly spoken in my heart and mind, I knew that the Lord was telling me He loved me.  What a wonderful way to wake up – in the loving arms of Jesus!

When I went to crosswalk.com to find out exactly where that verse was located and typed in “sleep” to the search engine, I became amazed at how much more the Lord had for me this morning.  Here is the context of that verse Psalm 127: 1-5 –

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.  In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves.  Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Wow!  Did God ever have a specific word for me today. 

  • First, the reason I have been staying up so late at night is because I have been working on taking Jim Elliot Christian High School to a new level of excellence. (To read the story of how we started this school read here, or here)  I know He was gently reminding me the it was HIS job to build the “house” or in this case the school and that while I needed to work hard and use my gifts and talents for His glory, He was the one that would accomplish the goal. So on to my knees I will go – giving it all over to God.
  • Second, I have been working very hard to put food on the table, as our financial situation has been very tight for over a year and I have been doing many extra things to help my dear darling hubby “make ends meet”.  I felt a bit of the Lords gentle rebuke in the words…  “in vain you toil”… ok Lord once again I submit to trusting in You to provide for our “daily bread”. (Now don’t interpret this wrongly, I do believe that the Lord wants us to work hard, and believe me their are plenty of scriptures warning us severely about being lazy, loving sleep etc… I just know the Lord was emphasizing to me that  —  I, with my driven  “I’m going to make it happen” personality, needed to get out of “overdrive”)
  • And look He even reminded me of what a blessing and reward it is to have another sweet baby to nurse throughout the night and to get up early for. Not too mention the blessings of my “quiver” of the 6 princesses as well. I am truly blessed! (Perhaps someday I’ll write about  when the Lord gave me a full quiver conviction.)

Does the Lord want to speak to us and give us guidance, wisdom, assurance and answers each & every day through His Spirit and His written Word? Yes, He does!  What is the Lord saying to you today?

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Word for Wednesday – Honor God

“The Lord declares…those who honor Me, I will honor”   I Samuel 3:20

Last Wednesday I shared with you about a young Christian man who was having to trust the Lord’s plan for his life after a potentially season ending football injury (see Word for Wednesday on Sept 19) Well the story continues….

After accepting Gods will for his football season, RJ went to the doctor to see what could be done for his injury.  Amazingly, the doctor cleared him to play, assuring him that although he would experience incredible pain he would not further injure his shoulder.  RJ did play on Saturday in what the newspaper called an “inspirational performance”.  He scored 4 touchdowns and led the Elliot Eagles to their first victory of the season!  But more importantly than that He gave God the glory!

“The doctor said if I could tolerate the pain, I couldn’t hurt it any worse. I will need surgery after the season, but right now I am just thankful to the Lord to be playing again. I give all the glory to God.”
(
Read the rest of the article here)

“The Lord declares…those who honor Me, I will honor”   I Samuel 3:20

RJ has honored the Lord and this week he has been honored by being chosen as “Athlete of the Week” in the Lodi News Sentinel.  (Read story here) When we give God honor & glory, He promises to honor us.  We may not see it as quickly as RJ has, perhaps not even in this life here on earth, but He promises in His word that it will happen.

How are you honoring the Lord with your life?

  • Are you using the gifts, talents & strengths He has blessed you with to bring Him glory? 
  • Do you give Him the credit for your gifts, talents & strengths and all you accomplish because of His blessing? 
  • Do others know that He is held with great distinction, reverence, respect & awe in your life?
  • Do you worship Him?

Let us all strive to live lives that honor the Lord and bring Him glory!

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Word for Wednesday – Trust in the Lord

“Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him & He will direct your paths”  Proverbs 3:5

We don’t always understand why the Lord does or allows certain things into our lives and yet we often try hard to find the answers to the “WHY” question.  The word clearly says…NOT to look to our own understanding but to TRUST in God and to acknowledge Him. The young man in the following news article is a young Christian who is being challenged to trust God thru disapointing circumstances and in my opinion is passing that challenge with flying colors!

 “Hale is more than a football player to our team, he is the ultimate leader that every team needs to succeed,” Davis said. “But there is more to life than just football. He is a strong young man who loves the Lord. That is the great thing about coaching these guys.”

An avid cowboy and rodeo fan who once had dreams of joining the Professional Bull Riders tour, Hale would settle for his shoulder fully healing and playing collegiate football.

Hale, who is deeply religious, knows that staying healthy, working and being able to support a family is his first priority.

“I want to continue playing football, but maybe my shoulder injury is God’s way of telling me he has something else in mind,” Hale said. “If it doesn’t work out, I would like to settle down with my family and be a pastor of a church.”  Read here for the rest of the story

Keep seeking the Lord R.J. Hale and trust Him with your future. Your testimony here is bringing glory to God. He will direct your future path! 

How about you? Are you trusting the Lord even when things don’t go your way?

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Word for Wednesday – Acts 12

Today we have been praying for God to do something that could require some “special forces” to be at work on our behalf…when I read this –

Acts 12:1-11 

That’s when King Herod got it into his head to go after some of the church members. He murdered James, John’s brother. When he saw how much it raised his popularity ratings with the Jews, he arrested Peter – all this during Passover Week, mind you – and had him thrown in jail, putting four squads of four soldiers each to guard him. He was planning a public lynching after Passover. All the time that Peter was under heavy guard in the jailhouse, the church prayed for him most strenuously.

Then the time came for Herod to bring him out for the kill. That night, even though shackled to two soldiers, one on either side, Peter slept like a baby. And there were guards at the door keeping their eyes on the place. Herod was taking no chances!  Suddenly there was an angel at his side and light flooding the room. The angel shook Peter and got him up: “Hurry!” The handcuffs fell off his wrists.  The angel said, “Get dressed. Put on your shoes.” Peter did it. Then, “Grab your coat and let’s get out of here.”  Peter followed him, but didn’t believe it was really an angel – he thought he was dreaming. Past the first guard and then the second, they came to the iron gate that led into the city. It swung open before them on its own, and they were out on the street, free as the breeze.

At the first intersection the angel left him, going his own way.  That’s when Peter realized it was no dream. “I can’t believe it – this really happened! The Master sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s vicious little production and the spectacle the Jewish mob was looking forward to.”

Wow!  How exciting it must have been to live during that time in church history.  Sleeping peacefully while in jail awaiting your own execution (oh my!), angels appearing giving you a personal escort, slipping past wide eyed guards and gates opening all by themselves.(before the advent of electric ones!)

I want to be a Christian on the cutting edge of the supernataural….experiencing perfect peace & trust in God, being visited by angels and a life that includes Gods miraculous powers at work.  Don’t you?

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