Saturday, January 10, 2009

My poor blog has lain dormant for a couple of weeks now. While I enjoyed our holidays, it was nice to have them over with. I'm rethinking how we celebrate Christmas and hope to implement some changes next year. The first change will be celebrating with gifts on a different day. Our family is growing and it's getting a bit more complicated and I don't want to be one who makes it worse. Everyone has agreed to that change and several were relieved. I think we're also going to do a drawing so that no one feels obligated to buy for everyone and we can make it a bit more special that way.

The New Year has also brought me a new perspective. I've chosen to not make resolutions, but, instead, to set small goals for myself, adding one new one each week in order not to overwhelm myself. Then, when I fail, I don't hit the bottom so hard and find it easier to get back up!

I've begun Beth Moore's new Bible study, Esther. They've made it available to download to your PC for just $4.99 a lesson. It's awesome. Stepping Up was the best Bible study I've gone through, outside of P.J's Wednesday night Bible study. It was convicting, encouraging, challenging, and utterly, totally Biblical!!! As I watch the world, and many so-called Christians, going off the deep-end in regards to the authority of Scripture, the Biblical aspect of it is even more important to me now than it used to be.

I believe God is going to use Esther to give me the courage and drive to finish what He placed on my heart sometime ago--my life's story thus far. He keeps bringing my past to the forefront of my thoughts. While I know full-well that I am not who I was, the old is gone, the new is come, I also know that my past helps me to see things differently from many people. It puts God's grace and mercy fully in the spotlight. My past reminds me that it is all about God and not about me. It reminds me that He has had a plan for me from before the beginning.

2 Timothy 1:8-10 (NIV)
8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,
9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Psalm 40:1-17 (NIV)
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.
5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
7 Then I said, "Here I am, I have come-- it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me.
14 May all who seek to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, "Aha! Aha!" be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, "The LORD be exalted!"
17 Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.

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