Bible Study Blog

Negativity Epidemic

I doubt I’m the only one that has noticed how negative society is, at least here in the U.S. I understand that we all do not need to agree, but it is amazing how it seems that even positive stories on the news can take a negative spin because the newscaster may not like whatever or whoever they are covering. I do realize that the media is not a place to go if you want to hear good positive current events, but it would be nice if people would cease and desist from participating in the negativity epidemic.

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The Instruction Manual

Last year, I wrote the Feast lessons for CGI for both young kids and teens, and one of my favorite lessons was called Read the Manual. It has actually stuck with me. I have to give God credit because I believe He gave me the creativity and words to write those lessons. I had never undertaken a project like that from start to finish using just my imagination. So, let me give credit where credit is due because I am not at all going to brag about my writing. The lesson’s point was you can’t do things without reading the manual, reading the instructions. So, how do we expect to go through life without reading our “instruction manual”?

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Take A Break

Have you ever felt like you were constantly busy? I have been so busy that I can’t believe it is already the end of August, that the Feast is just four weeks away, and I need to get school started. Where did the summer go? 

I sometimes wonder why I am always so busy because sometimes it feels like I’m just running around in circles like a hamster on its wheel. I don’t like being busy all the time because it feels like I am missing out on so much in my life. 

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Work of Art

Here lately, I have been learning a lot of new skills. I am realizing that the only one who limits me is myself, and I have found that I am more capable of learning things than I ever imagined. It seems that the more I step out of my comfort zone, the more God helps me to accomplish. I imagine we all are more capable of more than we think because we serve a God that can give us the grace we need to succeed. He can do all things, even impossible things. We can’t do all things, but with Him we can. I think He enjoys stretching us, so that we realize what all He can do through us if we let Him.

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Get Up

Sometimes life can figuratively knock the breath out of you. Trials can come in an avalanche rolling you down the hill that you were just about to conquer, leaving you breathless, stunned, hurt, and bewildered at the bottom on the ground covered with piles of “snow” on top of you preventing you from standing back up. At this time, all you really want to do is ball up in a “fetal position” and give up trying.

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You See Me

I am rereading the Bible. It is fascinating how many times I have read Genesis, yet I always notice something “new.”  I am realizing that the Word of God is a living thing because of the fact that I can learn something no matter how many times I may have read the same scriptures. I am thinking that maybe I notice “new” things when I reread because they are then applicable to my life at that moment.

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What are You Looking At?

Are you so focused on your failures, missed opportunities, mistakes, trials, etc…that you miss God’s beauty?  Do you overlook the blessings that you already have because they don’t match the “pictures of success” in your mind?  If yes, then you are looking at the wrong things.   You are listening to the deceiver who doesn’t want you to be joyful, hopeful, and faithful.  You are allowing yourself to have a pity-party-of-one, which honestly I believe makes Satan happy and God a bit sad.  Don’t worry, I’m talking to myself here also.  

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Put on the Armor of God

My daughter decided to take the plunge and get baptized. Honestly, she has thought about it for two whole years. She did not want to be hasty, so she took her time before making her decision. Her dad and I are very happy for her, but we also have warned her that now that she has made the complete decision to walk in the way, she will face attacks from the deceiver.

The deceiver does not like it when one of us decides to fully become a child of God. That is why being prepared is vital in our Christian walk.

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Walk Don’t Run — Follow Don’t Lead

He has told you, O man, what is good;

And what does the Lord require of you
Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion),
And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]
(Micah 6:8, Amplified).

Am I the only one that finds it hard to “walk” humbly with God when you don’t know the direction you are going? I know that life has many curves and ups and downs, but it is so hard sometimes to try not to force or fix situations.

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Graduation

This is the graduation season. Many teens and even adults are graduating from high school and college. In fact, I got to see one of my closest friend’s son graduate a little over a week ago. It was bittersweet. I have known her son since he was three, so to see him walk the field and receive his diploma was a huge moment for me. It also made me feel quite old. Before I know it, my own kids will be doing the same thing. 

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Give it all, I mean all

I teach at a small private school, and one of my fellow teachers stated a good point. First, she mentioned how the Scriptures teach us that we have to “die to self” in order to follow Christ, bear good fruit, to live by faith, to be renewed, etc. (some references: Luke 9:23-24; John 12:24; Galatians 2:20). She then pointed out that in order to do this, we have to give it all to God, everything, our finances, our marriage, our children, our homes, our education, our lives—everything. Everything has to come secondary to God.

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No Complaining Allowed

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world as you hold forth the word of life, in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.—Philippians 2:14-16

What would the world be like if we just followed verse 14? “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” 

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Prove all Things

All my life, I was told that it was illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas because it is the state flower. I believed this for years, and I mean years. In fact, it wasn’t until a year ago that I finally decided to research it, and low and behold, it isn’t illegal. It hasn’t been illegal since 1973 to pick bluebonnets on the side of the road or, if you have permission, on private property. However, it is still illegal to pick them in state parks

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First Love

My daughter just got her learner’s permit. I am still wrapping my brain around the fact that I now have a fifteen year old. I wish there was a pause button on life sometimes, but alas, there isn’t.

In any case, my daughter now can drive with an adult on the passenger side. She is so excited. Given, who wasn’t excited the first time they were able to drive?

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Ordinary People

We have a Bible full of profound stories of faith, sin, renewal, miracles, forgiveness, and punishment, and many more lessons that apply to us today. The Bible gives us hope when we doubt, strength when we are afraid, faith to keep moving forward, love when we feel unloved, and more positive affirmations. What is totally awesome, though, is that most of these stories that encourage us are about normal everyday ordinary people like you and me.

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The Power of Praying for Others

Do you have a tendency to pray more for yourself than for others? I know I do, and sometimes I wonder if I have my prayer priorities out of order. Now, I don’t think it is wrong to pray for ourselves as long as it doesn’t cause us to focus more on ourselves rather than thinking of others.

I am realizing that when I tend to let my prayers become more about me, rather than others, I become guilty of not fulfilling the scripture to esteem others better than myself (Philippians 2:3).

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Reap What You Sow

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return (Galatians 6:7).

I have heard this point all my life, and yes, when I have sowed non-righteous “seeds,” I reaped the consequences. I was one of those children that couldn’t get away with anything. I got caught very quickly. As an adult, I have to say, I still reap quick consequences when I make mistakes. I am definitely not perfect.

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Hidden Things

We had a slight scare this Sabbath. My daughter, Jazmyn, woke at her friend’s house with severe stomach pains that had her doubled over. I rushed over there to pick her up and immediately took her to the ER. I have to admit, my mind was going to all the worst case scenarios during our drive. 

Surprisingly, we were seen very quickly, and after running all kinds of tests, they determined that it was just severe abdominal cramping. 

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Perspective is Everything

One truth I have learned over the years is that life is constantly changing. Things never stay the same, so make sure you enjoy the small moments and don’t take life for granted. Another truth is, don’t waste time worrying about little things because, truth be told, if it isn’t going to be important tomorrow, next week, a month from now, or even a year or more from now, then it isn’t worth stressing over.

The reality is, we (or at least, I) sometimes get stuck putting importance on non-important things. 

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Satisfy Your Soul

When we are hungry, we get something to eat. When we are thirsty, we get something to drink. This is to satisfy our physical needs, but these physical things cannot satisfy our soul. True soul-satisfying fulfillment can only come from God.

We must realize that only God the Father and Jesus the Messiah can satisfy our souls. Only from God does living waters flow that can completely quench our “thirst” (John 4:14; 7:37-38). Only those that hunger and thirst for righteousness will be completely filled (Matthew 5:6).

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