Power in Remembering

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Today's reading: Psalm 77:1-20

Sometimes our hurt is so intense, our discouragement feels so heavy, that it's hard for us to even speak. And when we find ourselves in this painful emotional state, the temptation is to doubt God, and perhaps even to turn away to try and solve our problems in our own strength. That's the starting scenario in Psalm 77, but the psalmist resists the temptation to turn from God, and instead chooses to think back about all the previous times and ways that God has been faithful. By the time we reach the closing verses, the psalmist's outlook has changed from one of seemingly utter despair to one of hope and continued trust in and dependence on a good and sovereign God.

How has remembering God's past faithfulness helped you through a difficult time? Do you (will you) talk about how God has guided, protected and provided for you as a way to help and encourage others who are struggling? Tami

A Good Word

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Today's reading: Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad" (Proverbs 12:25).

This week has been a heavy one for me personally as I have been walking alongside a sweet friend as she deals with and is helping one of her family members (also a sweet friend of mine) who is nearing the end of her life from cancer. And I'm seeing and hearing about many others I know who are also struggling with difficult situations. I wish I could fix all the pain and heartache (don't we all?), but I can't. I can, however, come alongside and offer "a good word"--not only to those whom I know are struggling, but to all I encounter. There's something special about hearing or reading positive words of support and love, words meant to lift us up and boost our spirits.

Who do you know who needs "a good word" today? Will you be intentional about delivering that good and encouraging message, and how will you deliver it? What impact does offering positive and encouraging words to people we encounter throughout the day (friends, family, co-workers, classmates, strangers) have on our outlook and attitude? Tami

Lessons from Nehemiah

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Today's reading: Nehemiah 1-13

Thank you for reading through and considering Nehemiah with me for the past few weeks. I hope you enjoyed this Book and learned much from it. Before moving on, let's take today to look back over this rich story and consider some of the valuable lessons we found in it.

One of my favorite passages from this account is where Nehemiah encourages the people to continue working after encountering opposition from Tobiah and Sanballat and learning of their plan to attack. Nehemiah's words in verse 14 are powerful, encouraging and motivating. "And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, 'Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.'"

The lesson on leadership that stood out for me was Nehemiah's perseverance no matter what he encountered. Through it all, he kept his eyes on God, trusting and seeking His counsel.

What was your favorite chapter, scene and/or message from Nehemiah, and why? What was one lesson on leading you learned from this Book? How did Nehemiah's example encourage or motivate you? Tami

Tough Love Leading

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Today's reading: Nehemiah 13:1-31

Nehemiah's leadership skills rise to the surface again in Nehemiah 13. Upon returning to Jerusalem, Nehemiah discovers that his Jewish brothers and sisters have fallen away from following God's Law in a number of areas, but particularly in the area of Sabbath and the house of God. Nehemiah is greatly angered over what he observes and finds taking place. So he harnesses that anger, and then sets out to right the situation using tough love as he confronts the priests, officials, nobles, and the people, and he puts in place corrective action and measures.

Most of us try to avoid confrontation at all costs. But confrontation, when it is handled properly, can be a good thing, and there are going to be times when confrontation is absolutely necessary to right a situation that has gone bad. Nehemiah didn't return to Jerusalem looking for a fight. But when he arrived and discovered what was taking place that was contrary to God's Law, he confronted the people responsible for the problems he observed, speaking the truth to them because of his great love for God and God's people.

Do you find confronting others difficult? Why or why not? What's one lesson about confrontation and/or tough love you learned or observed from today's passage? What's an example from your own life where confrontation (either you confronting another or you being confronted) was necessary and brought about good? Tami

Full Out Praise

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Today's reading: Nehemiah 12:1-47

After letting us see the status of the priests and Levites, Nehemiah 12 turns to the dedication of the wall and its gates. It was a grand celebration for sure, with people coming from all the surrounding communities. There were two great choirs accompanied by trumpets and instruments. They came together and stood in the house of God and their praise was so loud and exuberant that people could hear the celebration miles away.

"And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away" (vs. 43).

What things are you thankful to God for today? How do you display your thankfulness and joy? When you praise God and rejoice over what He has done for you, what does it look like? In other words, describe what your praising looks like and sounds like to others. Tami

About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

About My Blog

I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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