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Siesta Scripture Memory Team, Verses 1 and 2

Wow! Just wow!

I don’t know if you’ve heard of Beth Moore’s Siesta Scripture Memory Team or not. In case you haven’t, every other year, Beth Moore invites women from everywhere to join her in memorizing Bible verses. I’ve been participating since 2009, so this is my fourth year. If you would like to learn how you can participate, click here. It’s not too late!

DSC00284eIn years past, I’ve written blog posts about the verses I’ve chosen, explaining why I’m memorizing each verse and inviting readers to memorize with me. I am going to do that this year, too. I’m just a little behind because a) I was in Northern California on January 1 and b) when I saw how many women are already participating this year, I was completely overwhelmed and almost changed my mind.

Don’t get me wrong. I am so excited to learn that nearly 21,000 women from all over the world are memorizing Bible verses together this year. God will use that to build His Kingdom and to bless each one of those lives–along with the lives of everyone they know. This is phenomenal!

But I tend to disappear in a group as big as three, so the thought of a group of 21,000 . . . My mind had to think about that. At first, I figured if I was going to vanish anyway, then maybe I should just memorize my verses privately. I wondered if it was really necessary to post them on Beth Moore’s site.

Then I realized that a) as one of God’s children, I’m one of a much larger group than that! Yet God still sees me, still values my life. I never disappear from His view, no matter how big the crowd. Wow! Just wow! and b) if I don’t post the verses, I may give up before the year is over. My verses may or may not disappear in the midst of all those comments, but I’ll know they’re there, so I’ll want to continue memorizing throughout the year and c) maybe, just maybe, one of the women who “happens” to post about the same time I do will see the verse I chose and read it just when she needs to get that message from God. God will use this whole adventure in ways we can’t even comprehend. I do believe that!

So . . . I’m in! And I hope you’ll join in, too. Memorizing Scripture is always a good thing.

Here are my January verses:

1. “We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.”Proverbs 16:33, NLT

This verse made me laugh, then it made me think. It’s not really about gambling. We do our best to make right decisions, to do what we think God wants us to do, to serve Him in whatever way we think He is leading us to, but ultimately, God is in control. We don’t have to fear making mistakes that will throw God off course. We don’t have that much power. God’s will will be done.

2. “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed I do not even judge myself.”1 Corinthians 4:3, NIV

I found this verse this morning, and I want to remember it. How did Paul get to this place? How did he get over worrying what others thought of him or being hard on himself? I’m not there yet, but I know it’s where God wants us all to be. He loves us. We live for Him. If we’re seeking His favor, no other opinion matters. We can (or should be able to) serve confidently. I’m hoping that memorizing this verse will eventually make it true for me, as it was for Paul.

  • What Bible verse are you currently trying to memorize?

I’ll write about a new memory verse on February 1.

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Psalm 25:4-5 on My Mind

NewOMM“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” –Psalm 25:4-5

As we enter 2014, these verses are the perfect ones to have on our minds. Each day, we walk into the great unknown—even if we think we know what’s up ahead. Each day is full of surprises: some big, some little, some joyful, some sad. Some are completely life-changing; I’m thankful these are rare.

In any case, as we boldly step into our future, whether it’s the next second or the next year, let’s remember that God is our Guide and ask Him often to:

Show us His ways.

Teach us His paths.

Guide us in His Truth.

Teach us.

After all, He is our God—our Creator and King. He is our Savior—the One Who has rescued us from sin, Who does rescue us from trouble and temptation each day (insofar as we cooperate), and Who will rescue us from this world when He takes us to New Earth* some future day. This is what makes Him our Hope for every day, and the only One Who deserves to take the lead in our lives.

Jesus, please guide us step by step through every day of 2014 and for the rest of our lives. We’ll trust Your way as You reveal it. Amen.

*Randy Alcorn’s term for Heaven—I like it!

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A Parachute Prayer for the New Year

Parachute PrayerAs we prepare for the New Year, whether we make resolutions or not, many of us become introspective, considering improvements, goals, habits, and dreams. There’s just something about a new day, week, month, year, decade, or millennium that seems to trigger this in us: the desire to grab hold of something brand new and make something beautiful out of it.

I think it has something to do with being made in the image of our grand, Creator God. We want to create, too! Yet when one year doesn’t go exactly as planned, we look forward to the opportunity to try all over again.

I don’t usually make resolutions, but I do set goals, make plans, and dream. I’ve been ultra-compulsive about it this year, in fact. I think that comes naturally out of becoming an empty-nester and embarking on a new phase of this life’s adventure. I have books to write, many more to read, and a great desire to organize ev-er-y-thing. I’m also feeling called to pray like never before and am greatly intrigued to discover where that calling will lead. (If you are following this blog, I promise, prayer will be this year’s biggest theme!)

  • How do you approach the New Year? Do you make resolutions, reflect and goal-set, or simply try not to think about it much?

If you approach the New Year like I do, you need to know that all this introspection, reflection, and goal-setting is meaningless if your perspective is off. In order to move forward effectively, we must first learn to see ourselves as God sees us.

New Year PrayerFor example, whether or not we lose an extra five pounds is probably one of God’s lower priorities for us. He wants us to make healthy choices and care for His design. If we’re doing that, the number on the scale is irrelevant. When we train ourselves to place our focus where His is—such as on the healthy choice instead of on the scale— we’ll probably take a lot of pressure off of ourselves. Then we will be able to serve Him with a better frame of mind: “God loves me and has meaningful work for me to do. I’ll care for myself so that I can serve Him well,” rather than “I’m not good enough to serve God because I just can’t seem to reach this goal. I am a failure. I’m incompetent. Poor me.”

In light of this, let’s practice a new Parachute Prayer: Whenever you see your reflection, pray, “Lord, please help me see myself as You see me. Help me to cooperate with You as I see You working in my life. Make me over in Your image that I’ll be able to serve You well. In Jesus’ name and for Your glory, amen.”

If we do this, God will answer our prayer and help us to see our own lives from His perspective which is, truthfully, the only perspective that counts. Armed with this point of view, we’ll be able to step into 2014 with confidence. God will make something truly beautiful using us.

For more encouraging thoughts this weekend, visit The Weekend Brew and Spiritual Sundays.