December 2008 Archives

December 29, 2008

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Good morning P4 bloggers!! Hope you all had a good Christmas. Jeff and I, after having a completely full Thanksgiving holiday with house guests and people everywhere, ended up having a very quiet Christmas with just us and Jeff's brother. It was kind of nice. How about yours?

We're still in Luke this week and now we're in to chapter 4. As I was reading this chapter last night, our reading for tomorrow (Tuesday) is what caught my attention. In verses 14-28 we see Jesus returning to his home town of Nazareth. When he arrives there he goes to the synagogue, reads publicly from the Scriptures and talks with the people. The people are focused on Jesus and amazed at him and his words. But then, Jesus informs them that a prophet is never accepted in his own hometown and lets them know that he won't be doing miracles there. Immediately the people become crazy with anger and form a mob against him. Now I read this passage a couple of times and each time I got mad and thought what is wrong with these people? And why are they so angry? The more I thought about it, though, I realized that I really wasn't different from those people. There are many times when my approach to God is tainted with a "what are you going to do for me today attitude." How do I know that? Well, I looked back at some of my prayers. Sadly, I ask God for things I want a lot. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we shouldn't ask God for things, but I am saying that that shouldn't be the primary theme of my prayer and sometimes it is.

As I put my Bible down last night, I was thankful for Luke 4:14-28. It was good heart/attitude check for me. This week I'm going to think about those people from Nazareth before I pray with the goal of no prayer with a "what can you do for me" attitude. Will you join me?

Hope you have a great week. I'll write again on New Years Day. Tami W.

December 25, 2008

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Well it's finally here--Christmas day--and I just want to say "Merry Christmas" and let you know how much I appreciate you being part of Powered by 4. What started out small almost a year ago January has grown and is near and dear to my heart. I love talking with you throughout each week and I especially love hearing from you! You are such an encouragement to me.

So keep reading over the long holiday weekend (and, yes, I know it can be tough when you're not in your normal routine). You'll be glad you did. And if you haven't watched it already, take a look at my video blog. It's a special singing Christmas blog just for you!!! Talk with you again on Monday. Tami W.

December 22, 2008

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In the next few days we'll be reading about Mary visiting Elizabeth, John the Baptist's birth and get to see what Zechariah had to say once he was finally able to speak. There's a lot going on and some rich content here. But instead of honing in on a specific verse today I'm going to take more of a big picture approach and look at these three people and their incredible responses to God and His plan.

Let's start with Mary. Here she is pregnant and not married. This was scandalous, not to mention dangerous. Yet instead of fear and anxiousness, we see an attitude of obedience and praise. She trusts God completely. Then there's Elizabeth. She, too, demonstrates total trust and faith in God. Her circumstance is certainly out of the ordinary. Yet there she is believing and then telling Mary that she (Mary) is blessed because she believed that the Lord would do what He told her. And finally, there's Zechariah. (I absolutely love his prophecy at the end of chapter 1.) For us, reading that scripture passage makes so much sense. But Zechariah didn't know all that we know today. That's what makes it so incredible. All through verses 67-79 Zechariah is praising God and proclaiming Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer and the light to the world. Again we see absolute faith, trust and belief in God and His plan.

What awesome examples from these three people. So if you're having a tough time this week, try reading Luke 1:39-80 again and really tune into the hearts and attitudes of Mary, Elizabeth and Zechariah. I'm going to read it all again as I sign off today and my prayer is that what I read will be infectious to me today and the rest of this week. Try it. Then let me know your thoughts. Tami W.

P.S. Make sure and watch my video blog for Thursday, Christmas day. It's something different and fun. I had a blast recording it and think you'll like watching it as well!

December 18, 2008

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So how have you been doing focusing on Jesus as Christmas is approaching? I've been good at some points and pretty lame at others--but I'm still working at it. As we come into our weekend readings, we're turning to Luke and the Christmas story. Our prayer group here at BB read through a bunch of it this morning. As I was listening as several people read this morning, it just hit me how because we're so familiar with the story, the awesomeness of how Jesus came to earth can get overlooked. So keep your awesomeness radar on as you start reading in Luke.

The other thing that grabbed me this morning (Thursday) was Luke 1:28. This is where the angel of the Lord speaks to Mary for the first time. I love this greeting. "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with You!" First off, can you imagine being greeted by an angel? And secondly, what incredible words for Mary to hear, "O favored one." It got me thinking. If I were so fortunate to meet up with an angel today, how might he greet me? Ok, I know it's highly unlikely that any of us will be talking with an angel here on earth this week, but that angel was sent from God, and God knows everything about us. So think about that greeting for a minute and then let me know your thoughts. Have a good one. Tami W.

December 15, 2008

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Christmas is fast approaching--only 10 days left. Where does time go? Yesterday in church, our pastor challenged us to not miss Jesus this Christmas, to not let Christmas go by as just extra time off from work or school or another holiday celebration. In my video blog today (Monday) I talk about Jesus as the baby in the manger. Who doesn't love a baby? Lots of people are willing to talk about and embrace the idea of Jesus as that baby. But then, they don't carry that through to Jesus being our Savior and Lord--the real reason for Christmas. I'm reading through the Psalms right now and over the weekend as I read I saw over and over again the clear message that it's all about Jesus and without Him, I am nothing. Armed with this fresh reminder, I had some good prayer time, telling the Lord how much He means to me and how much I need Him in every aspect of my life.

So as we approach Christmas, would you join me in seeking Jesus fully? The steps for that to happen will likely be different for each of us because we're all in different circumstances and life situations. But here's the thing--no matter what's going on in your life right now, He's there waiting and willing to embrace you fully in return. Who wouldn't want that? So have a great week and when you get a minute, I'd love to hear your thoughts on Jesus this Christmas season. Not sure where to start? Here's one--what's He done for you, and what are you doing because of it? Tami W.

December 11, 2008

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In my video blog for today (Thursday) I talk about Christ as our cornerstone. That reference comes from Isaiah 28 (our reading for Friday). Isaiah 28 verse 16 says "...therefore thus says the lord God, 'Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: 'Whoever believes will not be in haste.''" As I read that over this morning, the words "precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation" stuck out to me. It's like God was sending me a reminder that: His son is precious and He's all I need. Don't you just love how God seems to have you read exactly what you need when you need it? Well that was my case this morning. This week I've been feeling a little down. And then, add to that all the doom and gloom reports in the news on finances, the economy, violence, you name it, and last night I kind of bottomed out emotionally.

I always read my Bible at breakfast. Today I read Psalm 61 and 62. Here's what God had for me: "Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint (that was definitely me this morning). Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. (Psalm 61:1-3)" and then Psalm 62: 2, "He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken." Then, I read our readings in Isaiah for the rest of this week. When I reached Isaiah 28:16 it was so clear that I needed to get my focus off of my circumstances and what's happening around me and get it back on Christ.

So as I close today I am thanking the Lord for who He is, for His Son and for His precious Word. If I hadn't read my Bible this morning, I can tell you I wouldn't be ready and prepared to face today, not to mention that I certainly wouldn't be prepared to adequately show Christ to others. The most important communication I (we) can get every day is from God and I don't want to miss out on that. Well I hope you're hanging in there with our readings because they are important. And, as always, I'd love to hear from you! Tami W.

December 8, 2008

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Today we're shifting our focus to Christmas with our Scripture readings. So, of course, this got me to thinking about Christmas in general. This weekend was my designated time to get the tree and decorations up around our house. I love Christmas, but for the last several years I've really not enjoyed decorating our house as much as in the past. In fact, as I started into the whole process yesterday, I was a little grumpy about it--ok, I was actually a lot grumpy about it. I was pretty irritated that I had to spend my evening putting up a tree that just had to come down again in a couple of weeks. As I was driving to work today I started thinking about my bad attitude towards Christmas things and asked myself why I've been kind of a "bah-humbug." It didn't take me long to come up with a response. In the last month or so I've been pretty busy--basically doing, doing, doing.... And I've let putting up the tree, which should be a special, fun Christmas experience, become just another "to do." So I guess I need an attitude adjustment and probably a little schedule adjustment as well. :)

So what does that have to do with our readings? Well, Christmas is special. It's about the birth of our Savior. So I don't want to allow my busy schedule to impede in any way my reading God's Word about Jesus, His birth and what He did for me. If I'm not careful, Christmas day will come and go and I'll have glossed over the Christmas story (because after all, I've heard it tons of times). I don't want to miss out on what God has for me this Christmas because I'm off "doing" something.

So if you haven't already, take some time today to open your Bible and read and then just be still before the Lord for a few minutes. When you're done, how about letting me know some ways you and your family are keeping the focus on Christ this Christmas? Tami W.

P.S. Just in case you're wondering, I will be finishing my Christmas decorating tonight---only this time, no approaching it like a "to do." I've got a new attitude and I'm going to do the tree and the house up beautifully!!

December 4, 2008

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We're finishing Amos this week. This has been a pretty tough, hard hitting book. Yet, as we come to chapter 7 tomorrow (Friday), once again we see that God is incredibly patient, not to mention kind and loving. Three times in this chapter God shows Amos a vision of terrible things to come. Amos responds by appealing to God with "please forgive us" and "please stop." Now you might be inclined to think God would just go on because enough is enough. But He doesn't, He listens to Amos and responds two times by saying He won't do these things. See what I mean about being incredibly patient and loving. There's no question the people deserve all the judgment God shows Amos, but when Amos petitions Him by laying out his heart before God, God relents.

So can you relate to this scenario? Has there been a time in your life when you deserved correction or judgment, but God was patient and loving? Or maybe a time when God said enough is enough and disciplined? As I look back over my life I see time and time again, particularly in my early college years, when I deserved correction and judgment but God kept giving me second chances. I can also think of a couple of times when God didn't withhold his discipline. It wasn't fun to go through, but it was exactly what I needed. So if you're up for it, tell me your story. Tami W.

December 1, 2008

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So how are doing with Amos? I know, it's pretty heavy. But reading in Amos has been good for me. Seeing God's anger spelled out has caused me to stop and ask myself What am I doing in my day-to-day life that is displeasing to God? and Am I doing any of the things mentioned here?

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we start reading in Chapter 5, and in the middle of lots of judgment and bad news--there's hope. God says, "Seek me and live" (verse 5), "Seek the Lord and live," (verse 6) and "Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you" (verse 14). What an awesome picture of our loving God. A God willing to forgive us no matter what we've done. That's hard to grasp sometimes but don't miss this. There are times when I sin and I just feel like God could never forgive me--but that's not true and I can't let my emotions stop me from seeking God for forgiveness. So if you've feeling lousy today about sin--past or present--what are you waiting for? Hand it over to the Lord.

As I sign off today I'm interested in knowing what piqued your interest in Amos? Has anything you've read changed your thinking or actions? Blog me. 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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About this Archive

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

November 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

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