October 2008 Archives

October 30, 2008

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So have you been as impressed as I have with David in our 1 Samuel readings? In today's reading and through the weekend's readings, I'm amazed at how he responds and stays calm when he is in the middle of horrible circumstances. In Friday's reading, these simple words from David hit me "And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. And he said to the king of Moab 'Please let my father and my mother stay with you, till I know what God will do for me.'" 1 Samuel 22:2-3. There's no sign at all that David is questioning God, that he's stressed about what the future holds, that he's anxious. He just seems to roll with the punches and trust God. I don't know about you, but that's pretty amazing and can be hard to do.

Right now circumstances may seem kind of rocky. Just turn on the news and all you see and hear is doom and gloom reporting about the economy, the stock market, mortgage foreclosures. Uncertainty is abundant as we look around. So it's hard to not get sucked into feeling anxious, doubtful and scared. But we have something--actually Someone, who isn't surprised by anything that's happening. God is in control of it all, and in times like these, we most definitely need to hold tight to Him. So how are you doing right now? Have you been able to roll with the punches like David, or have you struggled some? My guess is if we're honest, we've all struggled at some point. So let us know what's going on with you and, if you need it, tell us how we can pray for you. Tami W.

October 27, 2008

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First Samuel is one of my favorite Old Testament books. I love the story and adventures of David and Saul and being able to see God's hand through it all. The text is just rich with examples of godly living from David (David wasn't perfect, though, and certainly had some downfalls) and examples of pitfalls to avoid, mostly from Saul. Every time I read 1 Samuel, I find more and more that I can take away and work on in my own life.

There are so many things about David that impress me, but one of the biggest is his patience. Even though he knew he was gong to be king, he didn't try to rush things. Considering the awful circumstances with Saul, that's impressive to me. I struggle with patience. I want to accomplish much, and I want to do it sooner than later (there's that type A personality coming through again). That can be a good thing except when God's timetable and mine aren't in alignment. When that happens, I really struggle. So as I'm reading in 1 Samuel, I am looking at David's repeated responses of patience and then asking myself, why aren't you responding that way? or what can you learn from that and how can you make some changes? Sometimes the process of answering those questions is tough--uncomfortable, too, because I discover I need to change some of my selfish habits. That's never an easy task. In fact, I'd say it's a work in process for me. Hopefully you can relate?

So, what examples have you seen from David, Jonathan or even Saul that have been helpful for you? There are tons, so let me know your thoughts! Tami W.

P.S. One more thing, when you respond to the blog this week would you tell us how long you've been part of Powered by 4? Just curious. Thanks.

October 23, 2008

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In my video blog today, I talk about the word "if" and how Satan can really use that word to plant doubt in our minds, derail us and keep us off balance. In fact, I think this is one of the tactics used most often by Satan. It's so simple, and we don't always recognize that it's him at all. As I look back over my Christian walk, there have been plenty of times I've said or thought "Well what if I don't have the skill set" or "What if I don't have enough money" or "What if no one wants to participate"--you get the picture. We've all been there.

One of those "what if" times for me was when I came to work for Back to the Bible. It didn't happen over night (as you'll see below). That was 8 years ago, and I'm so glad I took that step. Here's what happened. I put in an application and had an interview. It went well. But almost immediately after I left, Satan started pushing that "what if" game at me, and I played right along. You see the thought of working full time for a ministry was so different from what I'd been doing (practicing law) that it was a little scary. Satan knew that and used those feelings to get to me. I was pretty convinced within just a day or so after my interview that I couldn't work at Back to the Bible because "What if those perfect Christian people really knew me," "What if the people at Back to the Bible found out that I wasn't reading my Bible every day," or whatever. Satan had me convinced that I could never measure up and that I should just look for some other job that wasn't in ministry because God couldn't use me. Well, that wasn't true and thankfully, my husband came along side me and gently pointed out that I was not being rational and that he was pretty sure God had a place for me at Back to the Bible. (Have I mentioned lately how awesome my husband is?) Anyway, he was right, and I took a position. Thank you, Jeff, and thank you, Lord, for giving me Jeff and for always being there with me and enabling me to not stay in that "what if" world.

So how about you? Can you think any times you let that little word "if" or the phrase "what if" to hinder your efforts for the Lord? Or how about a time when Satan tried that tactic with you but you were ready and didn't play along? I'd love to hear about your experience because every time I read or hear someone else's story it helps me be more prepared down the road. So write to us. It's so encouraging to hear from you all! Tami W.

P.S. My husband and I and the majority of the Back to the Bible team are heading home from Bermuda tomorrow. We aren't scheduled to get home until really late (midnight) so we'd sure appreciate your prayer for safe and timely travel.

October 20, 2008

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Well today I'm writing to you from Bermuda. Yes, I did say Bermuda!! Back to the Bible is hosting its annual conference at the Willowbank Resort and we are recording the Back to the Bible program here all week. (It is glorious here.) Dr. Kroll is teaching from 1 Kings on Elijah. It's a series called Tough Challenges--Hard Choices. We were introduced to Elijah today, and we saw right away that Elijah was faced with some huge challenges. Yet, through all the tough times, he was obedient and faithful--he made the right choices.

That's not what we've been seeing or what we'll continue to see from Saul as we continue reading in 1 Samuel. What a shame. So today, would you take a few extra minutes and go to 1 Kings and read chapters 17-18? Then how about telling me and the Powered by 4 group something you noticed about Elijah and his responses that you can apply in your circumstances moving forward.

The thing that grabbed me today was what was happening in chapter 17 verses 17-22. This is where the widow's son dies and she comes to Elijah for help. In verse 20 it says "Then he (Elijah) cried out to the Lord..." He prayed and asked God to bring the boy back to life. So I asked myself, how often do I "cry out to God" in my prayers? My answer--not enough. It's easy to let myself get a little clinical with my approach to prayer. When I do that, I miss out on the joy of simply pouring my heart out to God. I'm going to work on that as I go through the rest of my week here in Bermuda. Ok, time to sign off. Keep reading your Powered by 4 verses and remember, read 1 Kings 17-18 and tell us your thoughts. You'll be glad you did. Tami W.

October 16, 2008

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This week Saul is introduced into our reading. Saul's story is intriguing. His reign starts out so strong and promising, but as we continue to read in 1 Samuel, we see that he ends poorly as far as his walk with the Lord is concerned. So as I read Saul's story, I need to ask myself, what does it mean for me? If I don't ask that, if I'm not intentional and thoughtful with my reading, I can read through these real life situations and take them simply as a history lesson or a great story.

Now they are that, but they are also God's Word, recorded for us so we can learn more about God, His character, His laws and what He expects and wants from us. So I need to try and draw out of the text what God has for me. Now there are lots of ways to do that, but one of the things I do is just read over the passage and see if something sticks out to me. Typically something does, and then I go back and start again there.

In today's reading, for example, the first thing that stuck out was Saul's strange reaction to being proclaimed king. This is huge, life-changing news, yet Saul seems kind of oblivious or unaffected. He certainly doesn't seize the opportunity and take charge right away. Did anyone else find it odd, almost funny, that when Samuel gathered Israel together to proclaim and introduce Saul as the king, Saul couldn't be found because he was hiding in the baggage? That strange reaction from Saul made me look back on my life to see if I had ever acted that way when God had a task for me. Funny thing--I had. That, then, got me thinking about how not to do that again as I go forward. And, I'm still working on that.

So I'm curious to know what approach you take to draw out of the story or text what God has for you? And as you're reading about Samuel and Saul, what have you found? What are some of your takeaways? I gave you one for me today, but I have to tell you, there were quite a few more. I didn't figure you'd want to read a 10 page blog, though. :) So, tell me what you're picking up, what you're thinking or ask questions if you have them. And If I haven't told you lately--thanks for being part of Powered by 4! Tami W.

P.S. A team from here is heading out tomorrow for a Back to the Bible conference in Bermuda. Dr. Kroll will be teaching each day for the next week, and we'll be recording the Back to the Bible radio and television programs on location. It's different and fun but also lots of work for our production team. So we'd really appreciate your prayers. I'll blog from Bermuda next week. TW

October 13, 2008

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In today's reading, we see Samuel telling the people they need to return to the Lord with all their hearts and that the only way to do this is to turn away from the foreign gods and idols they had been serving. When I see those words "foreign gods" and "idols," I'm tempted to read that literally so I can say I don't have an issue with them. But the fact of the matter is, we all have foreign gods and idols in our lives. We just need to recognize and identify them. So as I read this morning, I asked God to put on my heart one thing I could share with all of you that is an idol for me. Here it is--the use of my time. I'm a type A personality, and I fill my schedule to the brink pretty much every day. That can be ok, but not always, particularly when I start letting my busy schedule get in the way of my time with God. The last couple of weeks have been really crazy busy for me. As you know I've been traveling. Instead of cutting out things to make room for that, though, I just crammed all the things I normally do in with my travel. (Not the best plan, by the way.) Now I didn't stop reading my Bible during this time, but it really hit me this weekend as I was in the airport, that although I had been reading, I had, for the most part, neglected to slow down and have what I needed most--some intimate, personal time with God through His Word. Pretty sad that my best time with God in the last two weeks was while I was waiting in an airport terminal and on my plane rides. So, here I am again, getting ready to head out for another week on the road, and this time, it's going to be different. I love the Lord with all my heart, and I'm going to show Him that He deserves the first of my time--not the leftovers.

So are you up for a little challenge today? Ask the Lord what idols are in your life, and then ask Him to help you put them aside. As tough as that may be, you'll be glad you did it. Then, if you're willing, let us know what you discover and how you're planning on moving forward. We'll pray for you because we are all doing this together. And I'd sure love it if you prayed for me, too. Have a great week! Tami W.

October 9, 2008

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**I mention "P4 in Action" in my video blog, but since the time of the recording, "P4 in Action" evolved into the P4 Blog. So, you're right where you need to be. And to read my thoughts on 1 Samuel 31, click on the comments.

So how are you enjoying first Samuel? I like reading this part of the Old Testament. It provides such a good picture of how things were and what people were thinking and doing at that time. Plus it tells a great story!

In today's reading, 1 Samuel 3, verse 10 really stood out to me. Samuel's response to God is, "Speak, for your servant hears." What a perfect, submissive response to God! As I was reading that verse, my conscience was pricked a little because that wonderful, submissive response isn't always what comes from my heart. I can think of plenty of times when instead of listening for God and what He wanted, I did a pretty good job of telling Him what I wanted and, of course, I was sure that was what He wanted for me too. (Yeah, right!)

Anyway, chapter 3 and particularly verse 10 was a good reminder to me of the need to submit myself daily, or even more often if necessary, to God,. It's so easy to get going a hundred miles an hour and before I even realize it, I'm kind of doing my own thing. That's why I try to start each morning with a prayer where I tell the Lord how much I love Him and that my desire is to serve Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then I ask Him to help me keep me out of His way. So can you relate? How do you stay in tune with God and what He has for you?

Well, I'd better sign off. I'm sitting in the Detroit airport on my way to visit my sister who is a missionary in Africa but back in the states for a short break. I can't wait to see her! I'll talk with you Monday. Tami W.

p.s. Make sure to watch the video blog for today! We shot it in Israel (Beth-shan) and there's a small challenge at the end for you. So check it out!

October 6, 2008

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Well, last week I was in Texas and today I'm in Israel--at least in my blog and on the Back to the Bible program. Let me explain. Every year Dr. Kroll takes a tour group to Israel (BTW he's been doing this for 44 straight years now). This year, my husband and I went and we recorded the BttB radio and television program on location (thus my video blog for today and the BttB programs all this week). It was quite an adventure. We had about 160 people with us, and we traveled by tour bus to numerous locations each day. The neatest and most emotional thing about the trip for me was knowing that I was walking/standing in some of the same places Jesus and the disciples were. It was eerie--particularly when we toured Pilate's and Caiaphas' courtyards and the Garden of Gethsemane.

Being in Israel, taking it in first hand, highlighted the realness of the Bible. So many people today want to dismiss the Bible as outdated, irrelevant or simply a compilation of stories for children. They are so wrong!! The Bible is God's communication directly to us. God didn't create us and then send us on our own merry way. He gave us His Word, and it's full of direction and guidance. When we read God's Word, we can know His mind, understand His plans for us and, most importantly, feel His love for us. Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now. :-)

So, how have you been doing in your reading? Great? Good? Struggling? Or maybe you've slipped? Well no matter where you're at, remember this--you can't change yesterday, but you can start fresh today. And here's the cool thing--all of us here are reading with you and pulling for you. Let us pray for you, encourage you, whatever. Just tell us. We'd love to hear from you. Hang in there and keep reading!!! Tami W.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who blogged last week while I was at the MOPS convention. Good, encouraging stuff!!

October 2, 2008

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Well, I'm in Dallas, Texas, through the weekend attending the MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) International Convention. And, no, in case you're wondering I am not a mother of any preschoolers. I'm here as part of a team from Back to the Bible. We are sponsors at the convention and are promoting the importance of getting into God's Word with these moms. One of the key things we're highlighting is Powered by 4. So as we kick off the convention today and continue through the weekend, I have a huge request for you. Would you pray for our Back to the Bible team as we interact with these women? Pray that we would encourage them in their walk with God and at the same time challenge them to be in God's Word consistently. As you all know, that is so important.

MOPS International Convention 2008

So, I'd love it if you'd pray for us but I do have one more request. How about you share with these moms one of the top reasons you read the Bible. As we're introducing Powered by 4 to them, they will be coming and checking out this website. It'd sure be cool for them to see a bunch of comments from y'all (remember, I'm in Texas) about your love of God's Word. So how about it? Drop us a quick comment. 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 October 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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