Finding Joy in Him

Through Every Season

Month: April 2011

Favorite Verses Turned into Praise

I’ve been collecting favorite Bible verses ever since I was a teen.  I’ve written them in notebooks and on note cards, I’ve made my kids copy them and memorize them with me, and I now have files and files of them in my computer. 

When I need them, Holy Spirit is faithful to pop them in my head, I search them out and cling to them and try to keep them before me (that’s why I have so many on my walls).  It’s the only way I am able to run the race.. “keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus, who initiates and perfects our faith.”

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 We do this by fixing our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects of our faith.  Because of the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame.  Now He is seated in the place of honor at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again.  Think of all the hostility he endured form sinful people; so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I’ve always wanted to compile a list personal confessions (You know, like the ones that say, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”), so in October I started working compiling a collection and finding a way to keep it before me.

I cut an old cork board into the shape of a cross and tried pining them to it and confessing them, but it looked tacky and I couldn’t get comfortable confessing them.  It felt too much like striving to me (see my previous post).  He does everything by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).  My only job is to rest, trust, and believe.  

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”  John 6:29

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.  I Thessalonians 5:24

One day, I had the idea that I could rewrite my favorite verses as confessions/praises of who God is and what He has done in and for me; making it more like a prayer of thanksgiving than a demanding of myself.  So I took “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” and turned it into “You strengthen and enable me to do all things.” 

It’s taken me weeks and weeks and Holy Spirit keeps popping more in my head, but I think I might be close to finishing.  I wrote them all using periods for punctuation, but when I confess them it’s more like:

Jesus!!!! You are soooooo AWESOME!!  YOU give me STRENGTH!!!  HALLELUJAH!!!!!  THANK YOU JESUS!!!!  THANK YOU for enabling me to do ALL THINGS!!!!!!  All this while I am jumping up and down.

Do you know how many favorite verses you have?  I was thinking 30 or 40, but so far I have 281 written into praises.  I didn’t include the ones like “Wives submit yourselves to your husband.”  Although, I could have; it could say, “You enable me to submit myself to my husband,” because He does.  I know it’s not my strength, because I often have to dig deep to draw it up from Him. 

I have two favorite sources for Bible study:
I’ve been using Bible Gateway for a long time.  I love plugging in my 5 favorite versions (NIV, NASB, MSG, AMP, NLT) in and reading them side by side.  You can read whole chapters at a time this way on Bible Gateway.

I just recently found the Online Parallel Bible.  I like it because it has cross references and commentaries on the same page as the verse; helping me to really study out my favorite verses.

I hope I am not making similar mistakes to when I was collecting my favorite Psalms and leaving out the parts about wanting God to defeat my enemies..  I am sure it won’t be long before Holy Spirit straightens me out where I need it.

Despising Striving

Homeschooling is a lot like being self employed.  You have to keep yourself motivated, 
set your own schedule, decide what tools are the best for your situation, manage a budget, 
manage and motivate your “employees,” evaluate your results, and make changes accordingly.
The thing is, I am not self employed.  I have an invisible Head Master, Who is intently 
interested in what my kids are learning and doing and is sometimes,
for me, hard to hear through the noise of life. 
Having a type “A” personality I often don’t want to wait on Him, but want to 
get things done now.  Many years, I impatiently struck out on my own with my own plan 
and fell flat on my face.  The kids wouldn’t cooperate.  The curriculum I bought stunk.  
We were all miserable. 
So after many years of this, about 9 years ago, I learned to put a lot of prayer 
into the following year.  Usually starting about this time of year, I start praying 
while spring cleaning, washing dishes, folding clothes, gardening…  
Then I pray some more, and some more; sometimes I get answers 
and sometimes, I loose patience and try on my own again and fall flat on my face AGAIN.
So, through all this, I’ve learned to DESPISE striving.  
When I start, I get this uncomfortable feeling.  I want to stop.  
Sometimes, I do stop and pray.  Sometimes, I still don’t know what to do.
These verses about going on in our faith apply to everything we do from intersession,
to homeschooling, to parenting, to being a wife, or a just a good friend; to EVERYTHING.
Philippians 2:13 [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is 
all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], 
both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. 
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you 
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3
Trust in Christ, Not the Law
 1 You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses?
Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have 
the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. 
His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough.
 2-4 Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? 
Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding 
to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? 
For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts 
what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, 
how do you suppose you could perfect it? 
Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? 
It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!

I love this last one in the Message.  

We have to keep Jesus in clear focus in our lives.. 
focusing on our own efforts is craziness!  
Did I go through this whole painful learning process for nothing?
Lord, deliver me from craziness,
Jenny

Preparing so I can Forget

I’ve been privileged to speak at and/or lead a few different lady’s groups.  
To this day, I fear it more than death, but I love pressing in close to God 
so that I can hear what He would have me to say, 
and I am trying to learn to focus on the message 
and not worry so much about actually being the messenger.  
Usually I can put off the fear until some hours before… 
then when I have to open my mouth, my voice quivers 
and when I am really nervous, I stutter. 
I am in that phase now with my surgery where on the outside
I am calm and happy.. especially that it’s not anytime soon, but
I know from past experience that I need to look ahead and prepare.
When we had our first child, I read everything in the book about giving birth,
breathing, etc. but was totally unprepared for the recovery.. 
Four children later, I made the same mistake when I had my tubes tied.  
I never looked up the side effects or what to expect when recovering.
Fast forward to now.. the internet is such a wonderful invention
  filled with recovery stories, blogs, forums, advice from medical personnel..
  This week I found out more than I wanted to know.  
I just keep telling myself, “A couple of months after, it will be all behind me.”
The sooner I get prepared the sooner I can forget about it 
and enjoy my trip to Alaska with Mike.
Yesterday, along with our regular grocery shopping 
Judi and I starting gathering some recovery supplies.
I was so glad to have Judi with me.. 
because it was hard and a little embarrassing.
 She loved teasing me about buying “granny panties” and the “old lady walker.”
She even called a friend to tell her about it.  
The “Peace Man” pillow is to protect me in the car from my seat belt.
I am hoping the neck pillow will help me to sleep in the recliner.  
Everyone says that was the only place they could sleep.. 
I have a hard time sleeping in mine as it is.. my head doesn’t know where to go.
I found the panties in the maternity section on clearance.. 
I need the big ones to keep the elastic from touching my scar.
Slippers are to keep me from slipping.
Walker is for the first couple of weeks.. then back to the thrift store.
I found the lap tray for a dollar.  Isn’t the painting cute?
I didn’t notice until I got home that the name tag says, “Grace.”
I am so thankful that His grace is always there when we need it most.
Hebrews 4:16
Jenny

Deodorizing

I did a little dance in Walmart the other day when I found this deodorant.  
I think it’s “corn free” and it seems to be working!  
The last several years I’ve been using an aluminum free 
“salt crystal” that didn’t leave me smelling oh, so pleasant.
So looking forward to not smelling this summer.
 
I also bought some Borax (also corn free)
and looked up some of it’s uses
http://www.20muleteamlaundry.com/
I found even more uses in other places and turned them in to a page for my 
laundry room door.. Can’t wait to try it in my toilet bowl and dishwasher.
 
I made you a PDF of it to print 
Last year this sun screen worked for me.. 
I bought it after having a bad reaction to my favorite sun block.
This year I turned pale and had a headache with in minutes of putting it on.
So glad I found a bathroom.  Time to find or make a new one.
J

Generous Wife (and Husband) Tips

I love receiving e-mails from The Generous Wife 
I try to read them everyday.
Her husband writes tips for the guys as well.
Today’s was about serving our husbands as 
Jesus did when He washed His disciples’ feet. 
She ended with a quote from Helen Keller. 
I’d really like a collection of Helen Keller quotes. 
She was such a great thinker.
“I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty 
to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. 
The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, 
but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”   
Helen Keller
Love,
Jenny

Filled with Hope

I am filled with hope
when I remember this:
God’s great love never ends.
His tender compassions never fail.

His mercies begin afresh each morning.
Great is Your faithfulness!
My innermost self says,
“The Lord is my inheritance;
I will hope in Him!”

God is good to those
who passionately wait,
and to those who
diligently seek Him.
It is good to wait patiently,
to quietly hope for help from God.

It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.

   Lamentations 3:21-27

Comfort Shopping

I gave up comfort food in November; 
partly because I was fasting and partly because of my allergies. 
My appointment with the allergist was less than a mile from Plato’s Closet,
 so I decided to do some comfort shopping while on that side of town.
I was so happy to find this top and one other for $7 each.  
If I had several of tops in this style, that’s all I would ever wear. 
I have two now and one almost like it.
It has a bunch of my favorite colors.
Love that it matches my pale turquoise jewelry.
 
The second day I was feeling worse and found these wonderful Easy Spirit shoes on sale.
I had two pair of tennis that I needed to replace.
 They had to be comfortable because I was feeling so uncomfortable.  
They fit like a glove.  I’ve never had shoes so comfortable.  🙂
And they are slip-ons.  No more retying my shoes all day.  Yay!
Maybe I need new strings for my hiking shoes.
Love,
J

Psalm 59:16-17

One of my all time favorite verses:
Psalm 59:16-17
I will sing of Your strength,
Mighty God,
In the morning I will
celebrate because of Your love.
For You have been to me
a mighty fortress;
my refuge
in times of trouble.

O my Strength,
I sing joyful praises to You!
You alone, O God,
are my place of protection;
For, God of mercy,
You love me.

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