Personal Bible Study

Personal

Whenever I sit down to do a personal bible study I am always struck with the obstacle of what should I study. So a couple of months ago I decided to start writing out each book of the bible. Now, I know what you’re gonna say, “Why?” Well, for me I seem to remember more when I write it out. Even when I type out the scriptures.

Now, I know this is a big undertaking but hear me out. My goal is to write out at least two chapters a day. Some days I get two chapters done, some days I just keep going and write out four or five, and some days I don’t get anything done (I just read over what I wrote the day before.)

 

Bolt and key

God’s Word locks up the night and the key that unlocks the day!

 

Simple

I use my One Note and my eSword on my laptop. When I come to an area that I want to have more clarification in I do a word study or I’ll read what the different commentaries have to say about it.

This Bible writing plan started in August. So far I am up to Leviticus 16 and I have had several areas that I have gone off on a complete study all on my own. Like, what is the significance of the priest dipping his hand in the oil and only rubbing the oil on the right thumb, of the right hand, and on the big toe of the right foot, and on the right ear? (Lev 14: 14, 17 and in multiple areas of Exodus. Another area that sent me onto a new study was in Exodus 25:6 …spices for the anointing oil. The most recent was in Lev 15 where it talks about a woman’s time of impurity and a man who discharges why are they only unclean until evening.

I usually do my bible writing first thing in the morning or before going to sleep at night. For me, God’s Word is the bolt that locks the door at night and the key that unlocks the day.

Wishing you wellness for a new day.

RENEWAL

Waking up at the crack of dawn, my husband gently nudged me awake. We had a plan to spend July 4th not in celebration of our freedom, but in enjoying our freedom to visit a lady who help him put things into perspective. This lady is old, she’s majestic, magnificent, and in the splendor of her beauty we found awe, perspective, clarity and renewal.

On July 4th while most people were waving flags, marching in parades, and partying at barbeques, we hiked Mount St Helens. We listened to the peacefulness of this mountain that once spoke with boisterous thunder. We marveled at God’s creation at every turn, from the herd of elk we saw bathing in the morning sun to the chipmunks scampering through the brush snacking along the way.

While walking the trail I stopped to write in my journal, which I carry with me on every hike now, to capture the words that God’s beautiful creation inspires me to think about. First entry of the hike, “The mountain has her own words, her own voice. Yet no one understands the magnitude of her thoughts.” Being away from the hurriedness of the city, where I thought I thrived, I’ve been awakened to new thoughts, new ponderings, new attitudes, new philosophies of what I want for the second half of my life.

God's Renewal

Seeing the remnants of the devastation caused when the earth sighed through the nostril of Mount St Helens, I am reminded of all the chances we are given in life to change. God’s way of life is a constant renewal, if we let it be. When we stop growing, it’s us that stops not God. Life is constantly changing and we must change and grow or we become like the mud petrified tree stumps that stand among the new growth.

As I walked the trail, I pondered the immensity of change and renewal. Changing our character and our being is so much more profound than slapping on a coat paint (lipstick), or a new pair of shoes. Change takes courage, perseverance, trust, love, motivation, and most of all it takes reliance. Reliance in knowing who you are changing for and why. We shouldn’t be changing for other people, but for God. We rely on God’s direction in life to bring us to a place where we are ready to break forth from the sheltering cocoon and be a light to the world.

2 Corinthians 4: 16 – 18 “There we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

 

IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME COMING

I must admit, I too am part of the group of people who sometimes lets the circumstances of life get to her. Let’s face it we all have days and sometimes weeks where we get down and need to take some time to regroup and regather our thoughts. That’s what this time away has been for me. It’s been a long time coming with what I’ve been dealing with these last few months.

So many times I think we always feel the need to keep going no matter what happens in our lives, that we lose focus of what’s really important to us. We can get up every morning and still have the same feelings of the day before if we don’t deal with them before we go to bed.

Last week I heard a message from John Maxwell and then something similar from Rick Warren about how it doesn’t matter how much you can get done in a day. What matters most is how much have you imitated God in a day. Last week I wrote “Was I an imitator of God today?” and posted it on the wall that I see first thing in the morning and in my bathroom where it is the last thing I see before retiring at night.

Was I am imitator of God today

I don’t find the answers to this question in my list of things to do. I find the answers to this question from my prayers for the people in my life and even my  enemies,the smiles I give to strangers, the helping hand I give to someone in need, the uplifting words I used throughout the day, the forgiveness I give to people who have hurt me (and continue to hurt me), the ability to turn the other cheek when accusations are hurled at me, standing up for the truth of God, the compassion I show, and the love that I show to all people I come into contact with. 

I stopped making a to-do list and started concentrating on this question each day.  When I was in school and had to read a large section of text for assignments I would read through the questions at the end of the sections, because it made me focus more on the answers when they presented themselves. So when I read the question “Was I an imitator of God today?”in the morning, it opens me up to opportunities where I can imitate God with the talents He gave me.

I’m not saying that just reading the question will make things happen, you have to have faith and be willing to put yourself to the side to  learn how to live God’s way of life. You can’t imitate anyone unless you know them. So in order to know God you need to read His Word. Study His Word. Meditate on His Word and Pray.

So while it’s been a long time coming, it has been a time where I regrouped and refocused my thoughts to what’s really important for me.

To quote a famous coach, Vince Lombardi, and the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer:

“God, family, and everything else; in that order!”

GOOD ENOUGH!

Two years ago I worked for an online bead company, where I filled bead orders for 10 hours a day. The production floor was divided into stations according to the type of bead or jewelry finding such as bicones, pearls, toggles, flat-backs, etc. Each of the stations had an average number of clicks (the way the company kept track of our production) that needed to be met daily by the filler that was assigned to said station. If the filler made the average he or she was awarded a slip of paper stating he or she was “Filler of the Day.” These slips of paper could be exchanged for candy and small prizes. Each day as we were winding down on the 10 hours of work, my coworkers were always comparing if they made the average. Once the average is met, workers would slow down to a snail’s pace, not wanting to do any more than just the average. Good enough was they’re motto. Those coworkers who did go above and beyond the average were told to slow down and pace yourself, “You won’t make filler of the day, that way!”

excellence

            As I look back, each day I saw firsthand that average became the new excellence I should strive for. Gone are the words from Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor plan, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave where you go” (Modern King James Version). Striving for excellence is now taken over by “It’s good enough.”  God’s way is not the average way of doing something that is good enough. Every task that is performed should be done to the best of our ability; whether we are digging a ditch, writing a paper for school or putting words together for a blog. If we do something that is just good enough we are not following the words of this scripture. Many times I find myself saying these words “It’s good enough.” Then I ask myself “Who is it good enough for?”

            Weeding out these words from my daily life is a difficult task. I am constantly watching my speech, my attitude and my conduct, asking myself the same question “Am I doing this task at hand with all my strength?”  Average and good enough does not set the right example of living the life God intended for me to live. Each day when I sit down to do my work I don’t strive for average, I strive for excellence. I strive to live by the words of Ecclesiastes 9:10. I do not want to be rewarded for doing an average job; I would rather be a living example of God’s excellence.

MY FATHER: MY FIRST INSPIRATION

My father was and still is an inspiration in my life. I only had my father for 25 short years but he was my champion and my cheerleader. He was my life saver and my teacher. I have a photo of him up on my wall above my computer, so I can see his face every time I sit down to work. I look at him and I see all that he stood for. He taught me how to live by his example, he never lectured me or even yelled at me. He talked to me. We talked about anything I wanted to talk about. I was never afraid of asking him questions about life, about careers, about love, and about God. My father was my first inspiration.

My Father

My Father

He was my cheerleader: When I was 13 I was in a track meet where I fell, and knee hurt so much that I just wanted to stay on the ground but my dad was on the sidelines, telling me to get up and finish the race. He said it didn’t matter that I would come in last, it mattered that I finished what I started. So I got up and I limped, walked, and hopped to the finish line, where my dad was standing with his arms opened to hug me. It’s a moment I will never forget.

He was my champion: When I was 15 I was designing some clothes for myself; my mom was constantly telling me that it would never work out. My dad told my mom to knock it off. Then turned to me and said “No matter what you do, if you put your mind to it, it will turn out even better than you thought it could.” The sweater I designed and made turned out so good I started getting orders for, and a woman’s clothing boutique wanted to carry it in their store.

He was my lifesaver: It was in the middle of the night, I was a baby, my mother was rocking me to sleep. She fell asleep instead of me. I fell out of her arms and my father caught me. He said something (an angel) made him get up from a dead sleep. He just reached out his hands and caught me. If he didn’t catch me, who knows what life would be like for me. He saved my life.

He was my teacher: My friend’s fathers yelled at them almost incessantly, or they got lectured and grounded. My father never did any of those things. He never yelled at me. He talked to me.  When he was wrong about something having to do with me, he admitted it to me and apologized. His example about how to live showed me how to live. When I graduated high school, he told me something that has stuck with my entire life: “Stand in the gap, Laura, that’s where people need you the most but are too afraid to ask.”

I loved my father so much that when he died I felt like I lost a part of my heart. July 10th marks 25 years that I lived without him. There’s not a day that goes by that I haven’t thought about him. I am so thankful I married a man like my father, who’s loving heart has taught our own sons to follow their dreams and not let anything or anyone stand in their way. To say you’re sorry and admit when you’re wrong when you are. To forgive people and forget their wrongs against you. To say you love the people in your life, no matter who’s around.

My Husband

My Husband

It was difficult at first to go on without my father. It was extremely difficult when someone else in the family told me “Don’t cry, you have nothing to cry about!” at my father’s funeral. It was even more difficult to have that same person tell me “Now that your father gone it was his turn to now to lead me.” And no, it wasn’t my husband who said that. But in actuality it is my husband who took over when I married him to lead me and be my teacher, my champion, my cheerleader, and my lifesaver.

Both my father and my husband lead me toward God. My father made it easy for me to submit to God because he led a godly life and showed me the right example a loving father, husband, and man should be.  My husband is an extension of my own father. I married a man like my father, and I am so blessed because of it. My husband’s leads a godly life and shows me every day that God comes first in his life. I have no problem coming in second to God.

My father was my first inspiration.

 To all the father’s who inspire their children to greatness!

Happy Father’s Day!

WORDS SHAPE YOUR MIND

What we think about we bring about. Words can either tear down or build up whether we’re speaking them out loud to other people or to ourselves. Whatever happened to “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?” Just like a good diet shapes your health, words shape your mind. If we use the right words our minds and our world will change accordingly.

Many times throughout my day I find myself either repeating quotes or singing the words of inspirational music. I quote the people who have left a positive stamp on my heart. For me most of those words come from my father, “Watch out world, she can do anything she puts her mind to!” “You have a wonderful heart, you need to let the world see that!” “Stand in the gap, Laura, it’s where people need you the most but are too afraid to ask!” Then I have my favorite motivators: God, Zig Ziglar, Mark Twain, Corrie Ten Boom, Max Lucado, Les Brown, Norman Vincent Peale, Dale Carnegie, John C. Maxwell, Joyce Meyers, Vince Lombardi, and Eleanor Roosevelt just to name a few.

Here are some of my favorite quotes that I repeat almost daily that have helped me shape my mind.

Feast on a good diet of these quotes and many others like them .

Let their words shape your mind!

Zig Ziglar

 

Corrie Ten Boom

 

Dale Carnegie

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Favorite Scripture

One of my favorite scriptures!

 

John C Maxwell

 

Joyce Meyers

 

Mark Twain

This is above my computer to remind me of my father.

 

Les Brown

 

Max Lucado

Norman Vincent Peale

Vince Lombardi

DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT & GO AFTER IT

I was drinking my mocha protein shake this morning and thinking about what life would be like right now if I didn’t give up so many times in my life on a project, on my weight loss goals, or on building my business. So many times I’ve gone through this cycle where I make a decision to do something, do it for a month and when it gets difficult I stop. Because I want to avoid the pain. But you know what? I’ve encountered more pain from stopping than if I would have continued. I’m not sure about where you are in life but I can say this for myself, I need to DECIDE what I want and go after it! I need to push through the obstacles that may come along to derail me.

When I’m working out I push through the pain of lifting heavier weights because I know it’s the only way my muscles will get stronger.  If I can push through the pain in other areas of my life I know I’ll become stronger. When we let pain rule our lives we don’t want to get out of bed and face the world. But that’s not a life I want to live.

Do you?

DECIDE

A favorite quotation.

After you make a decision to do something or not do something your life will change whether for the better or not; the choice is yours. DECIDING to lose weight and get healthy is one of the top decisions a person makes in life along with getting married, changing careers, going to school, moving to a new city, starting a business, having children. We make decisions every day but do we actually make the decision with the momentum of moving forward in life or is our life so out of control that it’s making the decision for us?

If you want your life to be different in 6 months, then you need to DECIDE what it is you want different and work like everything depends on you to accomplish it, but pray that God helps you accomplish it by carrying you when you need help. We can’t do this on our own. We all need help from time to time. But we need to DECIDE what it is we want. Do we want more time spent with our family, the family feud to stop, more money in your pocket, better health for you and your family, a bigger house, bills paid, vacations, school funded, etc? If you don’t DECIDE what you want you don’t know what your starting line is.

Remember it’s not going to be easy. But when you lay your head down at night and go over the things you did that day, it will be fulfilling. Knowing that you did whatever you could do to help make that decision come to fruition.

DECIDE what you want!

GO AFTER IT!