September 2008 Archives

September 29, 2008

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All this week we're reading in Galatians. (This is a great letter, by the way.) One of the key things you'll see in Galatians is Jesus Christ as our Freedom. We hear the phrase "freedom in Christ" all the time in church, and it seems like we (Christians) throw that wording out there plenty. So here's my question for you today, what does freedom in Christ mean to you? What comes to mind when you hear that phrase? Send me a blog with your thoughts. Then, as you read through Galatians this week, check what you wrote against what you're reading in scripture. And, check back in with us to see what other people are thinking. That's one of the fun things about the blog.

Now normally I'd blog some of my thoughts about freedom in Christ, but I'm not going to do that today. I don't want to influence or sway anyone's response. I want to get a snapshot, if you will, of what's on your mind. Hope you're having a good start to your week. Tami W.

September 25, 2008

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Well we're now into Galatians. I hope you're able to read all of this little book because it is packed full of powerful information and guidance for us. What you'll notice right off is Paul really hitting legalism (following a list of dos and don'ts or imposing rules and regulations) hard. He wants to us to understand clearly that we cannot be justified (made blameless or "just as if I had never sinned" before God) by works. We can only be justified through faith in Jesus Christ. (Gal. 2:16).

So why do we struggle with works so much as Christians? I know I still do. :( I guess I kind of like having that check list. So how about you? Are you like me with the check list thing? How do you deal with or keep a balance between the two? Tami W.

September 22, 2008

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No matter what circumstances we're going through, we can have joy. Do you believe that? I know, you'd think that difficult times and joy wouldn't go together--but they can. We see that many places in the Bible and particularly in the Psalms. During tough times, over and over again, David writes about having joy. So what's the key? Well, as I read Psalm 40 today, a couple of things stand out to me about having joy. First, verse 4 says, "Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord" (NLT). Then down in verse 8 (I love this verse) it says, "I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart" (NLT). So those verses let me know that I need to trust God and make His will for me an absolute priority. David was so good at doing this. Ok, I'm no David, but I am working on it, and reading God's Word consistently is the most important thing I can do to be in tune with God--to trust Him and have the desire to do His will (and, of course, to have that joy).

So as I sign off today, I want to encourage you to stick with your Powered by 4 readings. I also have a little challenge for you. As your life gets busy this week and circumstances crop up, would you make it a priority to stay in the Word? I'll take that challenge with you, and then let's compare notes throughout the week about how being in the Word has helped you. Come on, I know you can do it. :) Talk with you soon. Tami W.

September 18, 2008

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So how'd you do in Hebrews the last couple of weeks? It's so rich in content and there are definitely a lot of things to take in. So remember, if you have any questions, you can ask and we'll answer them.

The rest of this week we take a little breather and move back into the Psalms. I use the Psalms that way quite a bit. It seems to keep me grounded because they are so real. The writers are pouring their hearts out to God and laying out whatever they are dealing with. It's so refreshing to see that although it's thousands of years later, my life issues are really much the same. It's also a great reminder for me that the Lord knows exactly what's going on in my life and what emotions I'm dealing with and that He wants to be part of that. I feel closest to the Lord when I am completely open and honest with Him--when I don't hold anything back but tell Him all that's on my heart.

I want to encourage you to read all our readings (Psalms 36-39) the rest of this week because they are filled with so many real conversations/communications with God. You'll see confidence, praise, rejoicing, hope, thankfulness, need, love, despair, patience, you name it. God wants us to be real with Him.

As you read, let me know if any verses catch your attention. Here's what caught mine. I'll sign off with them. Psalm 37:3-6 "Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday." Tami W.

September 15, 2008

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I talk about Hebrews being an encouragement to us in my video blog. Yet, today as we turn to Hebrews 12 for our reading, it's all about God's discipline. So are any of you thinking "discipline as encouragement? Yeah, right." Well, none of us like discipline. I surely don't. But honestly, we all need it. It doesn't feel very encouraging while you're in the middle of it, but for me, after I've come through it, I can look back and see exactly how God used that discipline to shape me and refine my thinking and actions.

I went through a time of major discipline in my life about 12 years ago. In a nutshell, I had really put God on the back burner in my life and was striving to do my own thing because I thought I knew exactly what I needed (or maybe I should say wanted) out of my life. Kind of stupid, I know, but that's really where I was at. God let me run down that course for a while. I could feel Him continuing to pursue me, but I only wanted Him here and there when it was convenient. Finally God said ENOUGH and he allowed some very hard circumstances to happen in my life. It got my attention for sure, but did I immediately respond and turn to God? Nope, I fought Him, again thinking I could handle my life. I was so wrong. It took a couple of years of struggles and pain before I finally surrendered--completely. It changed the course of my life. Going through those couple of years was horrible. But as I look back now, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am so grateful God never treated me like I treated Him and that He never gave up on me. So here I sit about 12 years later, and that disciplining time in my life is a huge encouragement to me today. I know without a doubt that God loves me, that He's not going to leave me and that He holds the master plan and is in control. How awesome!

Whew, that got kind of long--sorry about that. So I'm wondering how many of you have had a similar experience? Can you see how God has used a time of discipline for your good? Or, maybe you're experiencing some discipline right now and you're having a hard time seeing that good ending? Let us know because we'd love to pray for you and give you some encouragement along the way. Tami W.

September 11, 2008

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First off, I am so excited this week. Why? Because we now have over 5,000 people participating in Powered by 4! That is so awesome!! So thanks for being a part of P4, and keep spreading the word.

Ok, now about our readings this week. As I read Hebrews 10 this morning, the message that we are free in Christ came through loud and clear. Sacrifices, ceremonies, rituals no longer required. We can talk directly to God. We are so fortunate. Don't miss that, and make sure you take advantage of that open access as often as you can.

We'll be moving on to chapter 11 this weekend. It's all about faith. I love all the examples of people of extraordinary faith and the great reminder we get that walking the Christian walk is about just that--faith. It got me thinking about my own journey. I've definitely had some stumbles and falls, but I've had some good, maybe even a couple of extraordinary faith moments, too. One of those moments was a few years back when my husband got cancer. When we first got the news, I cried uncontrollably. Just a year or two earlier I had lost my dad to cancer and my immediate reaction was to assume I'd lose Jeff too. (You know how good we all are at jumping to irrational conclusions.) But then my faith (and my husband's) kicked in big time. Both Jeff and I knew God was in control and we gave everything to him--all our fears, hurts, concerns, you name it. It was a tough next year, watching my precious husband struggle just to get out of bed and many days, just to keep food down. But God provided mightily, and our faith got even stronger. And as you've probably guessed, Jeff is still here and his cancer is gone. I wouldn't want to go through that again, but God was so good to us. We couldn't have gotten through without faith.

I'm guessing that you all have some faith stories too. I'd love to hear them. Or, maybe you're in the middle of something right now and you need a boost in your faith. Let us know and we'll pray for you--both the staff here at Back to the Bible and also our P4 family. Talk with you next week. Tami W.

September 8, 2008

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As I was driving in to work this morning, I was considering what I would write on my blog today. Next thing you know, one of my favorite songs came on the radio. It's Aaron Shust's "My Savior My God." Are you familiar with it? Well I'd love to put all the words here in my blog but can't because of copyright issues. :( At any rate, the song really lays out how amazing God is--He is past, present and future and always there for us! (How about an amen to that?) It never ceases to amaze me that Jesus came to earth to live among us, and in doing that, He experienced humanity to the fullest, even dying an awful death on the cross so that we could have a one-on-one relationship with God. That "experienced humanity to the fullest" part is important because it shows us that whatever we're going through, God knows and understands exactly. Do you believe that? There have been so many times in my life where something has happened or a circumstance arises where the only response that gets me through is to step back and say "Lord, I know you know what I'm dealing with, and I know you are here with me. Give me wisdom and discernment. Help me get through." When I do this, it's the best response ever for me because it takes the load off me and gives it to God. So you'd think I'd do that all the time, but the truth is, I'm still growing and learning. I'm hoping you can relate?

One more thing. If you have any questions about Hebrews or any of your Bible reading, let us know. We'll answer. I promise. Hope your week is off to a good start. Talk to you again on Thursday. Tami W.

P.S. If you haven't responded to my September 4 blog, there's still time. I still want to hear about you.

September 4, 2008

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I'm in vacation mode today so I'm not going to talk about our reading. Instead, I was hoping I could get to know you, our P4 members, a little better. I think I've already told you that my husband and I have 3 dachshunds. We also have 2 parrots and fish. And as you've seen on the video blogs, I love to garden and grow orchids. If you watch the Back to the Bible program, you also probably know that I love to sing and my favorite beverage is Diet Pepsi. Yes, I'm eclectic. :-)

Ok. Now it's your turn. Tami W.

P.S. Old habits die hard. Remember to do your reading in Hebrews! It's important.

September 2, 2008

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Since I've been reading almost exclusively in the Old Testament for the last couple of months, reading in Hebrews yesterday and today was a great reminder for me that as Christians today, we are so fortunate, privileged, advantaged, you name it. Immediately in Hebrews chapter 1 we are told that "in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son." There have been plenty of times when I thought something like, I sure wish I could have a sign like those people in the Old Testament. God was right there showing them..." Ok, I think you get the picture (maybe you've even had some of those thoughts). But really, that kind of thinking is silly because we have it so much better. We no longer live under the Law. We don't have to look to prophets or offer sacrifices to cover our sins. We live under grace and it's all because of Jesus and what He did for us--taking on human form, living with us (sinlessly) and ultimately dying a horrible death on the cross in our place. I love how chapter 2 lays all this out for us. If you've ever wondered why Jesus came to earth and did what he did, make sure you read Hebrews chapter 2 a few times.

So I hope you're getting into Hebrews this week. It's a great book. But as you're reading, you may have questions, encounter some things you're not sure about or don't understand. If that's the case, let us know. Send us your questions. We'll answer you and post it right here on the blog. Tami W.

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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This page is an archive of entries from September 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2008 is the previous archive.

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