Friday, February 10, 2012

1486-1499, Ephesians 4:25-32

1486. Matt encouraging me (and himself) to go to bed by 9:00 - and me doing so with a really good attitude (ok, the last part is an exaggeration lie ;P)
1487. Feeling so much better physically and emotionally because of more sleep and less sugar (both, thanks to Matt)
1488. Blake and Cole playing hide and seek - and cracking up every time they find each other
1489. Avonlea's pig tails 
1490. A weekend just around the corner
1491. An encouraging "chat" then phone call from a friend I haven't spent much time with lately
1492. A grocery store run/parking lot chat with a "bosom buddy"
1493. Blake
1494. Cole
1495. Avonlea

Blessings in the word (Ephesians 4:25-32)
1496. The following examples of the "Putting off/Putting on"concept
1497. The fact that anger in itself is not a sin, and the reminder that dwelling on it gives the devil a foothold (which will quickly lead to sin)
1498. Though at times we grieve the Holy Spirit, we (if we are believers) are SEALED FOR THE DAY OF REDEMPTION
1499. God forgave me/us!

Quick Thoughts 
Matt and I recently attended a parenting conference that really focused on this putting off/putting on concept.  The couple who led it encouraged us not only to point out and or/discipline misbehavior, but to immediately encourage the appropriate behavior.  For example if Blake was to lie, we would say something like "Blake you must not lie, you must always tell the truth" or if Cole hit Blake - "Cole you must not hit, you must be kind to your brother".  I remember thinking that I often forget the second part - both in parenting and in my own life.  The funny thing is that it is much easier to stop doing something if you replace it with something.  Sugar, which is something that I am trying to "put off" lately often comes in the form of an intense craving for me.  I have found if I just stop eating sweets, I still find myself hungry and moody.  Recently, like for 2 days, I have been trying to make sure that when I am hungry and craving sweets I don't just "say no", I eat something filling - usually protein and/or "good fats".  I have a long way to go in this area (and the others mentioned in this scripture), but I am thankful for this encouraging reminder to not just put off, but to remember to put on as well.  Though I am jumping ahead in my walk through Ephesians, the most important things I hope I remember to put on are found in Ephesians 6:
      "put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

Praying the word
Lord, please help me/us PUT OFF FALSEHOOD AND SPEAK TRUTHFULLY, even in the little things like exaggeration, tweaking numbers (it was only $2.99, when it was $3.00), or going along/pretending we agree with something when in our hearts we are convicted.  Thank you Father, that despite our differences, as believers, we really are MEMBERS OF ONE BODY.  Teach us Lord that when we are angry, it is possible to NOT SIN.  May we turn quickly from our anger and remember not to LET THE SUN GO DOWN WHILE we ARE STILL ANGRY.  Remind us that dwelling on our anger, GIVEs THE DEVIL A FOOTHOLD.  Lord, though I don't struggle with stealing (that I can think of), I do struggle with hoarding - I rarely share with those in need.  Oh, how I long that you will help me change in this area.  I want to be selfless Lord.  Please change this selfish heart of mine.  Oh Lord that I/we would learn how to stop all UNWHOLESOME talk and replace it with WHAT IS HELPFUL FOR BUILDING OTHERS UP. Thank You so much Father that we are SEALED FOR THE DAY OF REDEMPTION, convict us Lord when we GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD.  May we put off ALL BITTERNESS, RAGE and ANGER, BRAWLING and SLANDER, ALONG WITH EVERY FORM OF MALICE.  Fill us and help us choose to be KIND AND COMPASSIONATE TO ONE ANOTHER, FORGIVING EACH OTHER.  Oh Lord, thank you so much that in Christ, you have forgiven us!  Remind us of that when we are tempted to "throw stones".

The word
Ephesians 4:25-32 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

1470-1485, Ephesians 4:17-20

1470. Matt hiding all the sweets in the house from me - and me not going on a massive sweet hunt (YES, this is a blessing :-P)
1471. Cole "alright, LETS GO" - his enthusiastic reply to just about everything these days
1472. Blake giving Cole potty lessons
1473. Matt swinging by the grocery store just about every afternoon - and with a good attitude
1474. Hope that one of these days I'll get our meal plan and shopping days organized
1475. A God who loves me despite my imperfections
1476. A tough conversation with friends turning out just fine
1477. Friends

Blessings in the word
1478. MUST - leaves no doubts
1479. the LIFE OF GOD
1480. The reminder not to HARDEN my HEART
1481. the WAY OF LIFE I learned when I HEARD ABOUT CHRIST
1483. The concept of PUTTING OFF and PUTTING ON
1484. The hope of BEing made new (and knowing way down deep that even though it doesn't feel like it some days, this has already begun and will be a life long process)
1485. I (we, if you're a believer) have been CREATED TO BE LIKE GOD IN TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS

Ephesians 4:17-20
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
 20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Quick Thoughts
Ah, if I could only figure out the balance between my choices and the Holy Spirit's action.  I tend to either try to hard and get discouraged because of my lack of perfection, or not try much at all and say it is supposed to be an act of the Holy Spirit - not of my own will.  What I feel like God is calling me to lately is to truly try my best, but know that He is there to hold me, love me, and comfort me when I mess up (rather than accuse me and discourage me...we all know where accusations come from)

Praying the word
Lord I thank you for the directness of Paul's command for obedience.  Thank you for the reminder that we MUST NO LONGER LIVE...IN FUTILITY OF our THINKING.  Oh Father, how I beg you to protect me and help me no longer be DARKENED IN my UNDERSTANDING and SEPARATED from the LIFE OF GOD BECAUSE OF THE IGNORANCE THAT IS IN me DUE to the HARDENING OF my HEART.  There are so many areas in my life in which I HAVE LOST ALL SENSITIVITY and so often I INDULGE in all KINDs of IMPURITY.  And Lord, I am FULL OF GREED.  Lord thank You that you have so much more to offer than this.  Thank You so much for introducing me to the WAY OF LIFE I can be a part of because I have HEARD ABOUT CHRIST.  Thank You that I have been TAUGHT IN you and that TRUTH IS IN JESUS (apart from Him I am and can do nothing).  Oh Father, please teach me how to PUT OFF my OLD SELF, WHICH IS BEING CORRUPTED BY ITS DECEITFUL DESIRES.  Help me BE MADE NEW in the ATTITUDE OF my MIND and to PUT ON THE NEW SELF.  Jesus, thank you that you have CREATED me TO BE LIKE GOD IN TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS.  I feel so far from this, but knowing that I have the potential because of You is wonderful Lord.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

1454-1469, Ephesians 4:14-16

1454. Not feeling like reading the word, doing it anyway - feeling rejuvenated
1455. 3 construction paper/glitter snowmen on our fridge (made by daddy, blake & cole)
1456. the X song (the boys singing "I get an X" every time they say, please, thank you, or yes mommy - even though half the time they never actually add their Xs)
1457. Matt making me go to bed early despite my arguments against it - and him being right, it definitely feels better in the morning
1458. An incredibly fun and busy week, followed by a week of catch up...enjoying both (well, most of the time)
1459. Cole waking up from his nap and singing "happy day to you" - remembering we were heading to a birthday party
1460. Visiting old friends and being encouraged by new ones
1461. Being late (like getting somewhere halfway through), but still being welcomed and loved
1462. Superbowl parties, or as our church called it a "large screen viewing event"
1463. Avonlea asleep on her daddy's chest
1464. Church doodles by 3 year old artists
1465. Still needing a little extra "rejuvenation" and knowing I'm heading to the right place to get it - prayer (well half shower/half prayer) :) :) :)

Blessings in the word
1466. One day I will NO LONGER be an infant in the Lord
1467. The hope of learning how to SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE
1469. SUPPORTING LIGAMENTs - so thankful for every member of my faith family

Ephesians 4:14 -16
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Praying the word
Oh how I feel like an infant Christian in so many ways Lord.  I pray with all my heart that You teach me (and my friends and readers who have the same desire) how to stop being tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching.  Father God we long to learn how to speak the truth in love as we grow to become in every respect the mature body of...Christ.  Teach us how to work together and remind us that we, the whole body, are joined and held together by every supporting ligament. We would fall apart without each other, Lord.  Father, may we grow and build our body up in love as each of us does our work.