January 2009 Archives

January 29, 2009

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In our Friday reading (Luke 14:1-24) Jesus tells a parable about a wedding feast. In the parable he basically tells us that we shouldn't be seeking out places of honor (the spotlight) but should be non-assuming, humble people. Verse 11 says, "'For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.'"

I love this instruction, but honestly, it's one that is hard to put into consistent practice. Everywhere you turn today we're being sold the message of "it's all about you" and that we should be asserting ourselves to get what we think we deserve. Add to that plain old human nature and before I know it, I can find myself thinking and even acting not so humble. I hate it when I allow pride slip in. Even so, it happens. In fact, just a few weeks ago I was being prideful about something and letting it influence my thinking. When I finally wised up, I was mad and ashamed at myself that I even went there. So, I prayed a bunch, read scripture and ultimately had to take it before the Lord and just ask Him to help me let go. It was tough and humbling (hum...kind of like verse 11 above). Can you relate? I sure hope so. :)

Take a minute right now and ask God if there's an area in your life where your pride is getting in the way. What can you do this week to be more humble? Ok, I know this will probably be challenging, but challenging is good. Plus, I'll do it with you. Tami W.

January 26, 2009

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Our reading today (Monday) is Luke 12:49-59. Just ten verses but there's a ton in there. So as I was reading this morning, I asked myself what is God wanting me to grasp out of this today, and what am I going to do with it? I kept coming back to verses 49-53. They brought to mind Jesus' words in Luke 11:23 where Jesus tells us if we're not with Him, we're against Him. In verses 51-53 we see that concept laid out even more. Christ's ways and the world's ways are radically different. So when we follow Christ, it will and should be noticeable and, yes, even cause division. So I thought about that for a while which led me to do a little self analysis. I asked myself: Am I noticeably different from the world? How firm do I stand up for Christ? Are there areas where I'm letting things slide because I know it will bring conflict and division?

I won't go into detail about the results of my self assessment, but will tell you that it was a good thing for me today. I am doing well in some areas and need to work on others. The important thing is, though, that I'm now tuned in to the fact that I have work to do.

So are you up for a little self assessment today? Try answering the questions I asked above (and any others you might have) and see what you discover. Then, whatever God lays on your heart, start working on it. And, as always, I'd love to hear about it. Tami W.

P.S. Exciting news!!! As of today, we now have over 6,000 people participating in Powered by 4. How awesome!

January 22, 2009

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My blog on Monday was about prayer, and in the last couple of days, we've gotten some really good insights and suggestions, examples and questions from you on prayer. So instead of moving on to talk about Luke 11:37-54, I want to stay focused on prayer because it's so key in our relationship with God. And, I want to keep hearing from each of you about your prayer life and how you go about it because it's helpful to see how others pray, what helps, what people struggle with, etc.

So here's another thought about prayer. Prayer is not a formula. Prayer is me (and you) talking to God--plain and simple. Now there was a time in my life when praying didn't feel like plain and simple talking to God. I had in my head that in order to pray "right" I had to have these long, eloquent, formal sounding prayers. But then I hit a really difficult patch in my life. I was hurting, depressed and scared and as a result, the pretenses fell away and all I could do was just cry out to God from my heart--no big, formal words or structure, just something simple like Here I am God. I love You. This is what's going on and I need You so desperately. God answered mightily and as I look back now, I realize that how I approached prayer was different after that.

So what I've learned is that prayer, as part of my relationship with God, is a process that I absolutely need to work on now and forever. But here's the one thing I cannot forget--when I pray mightily, when I struggle, when I skip praying, you name it--God loves me (and you) and He knows exactly what's going on in my life. So the more I can open up and talk honestly with Him, the closer my relationship with Him becomes. That's something I want and need. Now maybe you're thinking Easy to write, Tami, but not always easy to put into practice. I agree. And that's why it's a work in process for all of us. So hang in there and keep sending your comments, examples, suggestions, and of course, your prayer requests! Tami W.

January 19, 2009

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Our reading in Luke 11:1-13 (Monday) has some great food for thought today, but I want to hone in on verses 9-10 where we see Jesus telling us "ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." It got me thinking about what I pray for and how I pray. What I uncovered was that I sometimes neglect to ask as I should. What I mean by that is, something will really be on my heart and I think God has put that desire or feeling there. But instead of taking it to the Lord in prayer and asking Him about that desire and fulfilling it, sometimes I just go on with day and activities because my thinking is something like this--well, God knows what's on my mind and heart and if it's from Him, then it will happen. Have you ever done that? Now don't get me wrong, this is not my template for navigating life. It is, however, how I proceed sometimes. But Jesus makes it clear in this passage today that our prayer life, communication and relationship with God is really important. So I can see I need to work on this area.

So what do your prayers look like? What are you asking for, and are they the appropriate things? Maybe you're a little sporadic in your prayer life or you miss the boat sometimes like my example today. Any thoughts on how we can work on that together? Or, maybe you're a prayer warrior and you're all over this. If so, tell us about what you do and how you got there. That could be a great help to those of us who aren't quite there yet. Either way, send me your thoughts, some examples, ideas, you name it because the bottom line is we all need to be praying more! Tami W.

P.S. Speaking of praying, if you'd like us here at BttB to pray for you, please let us know. We consider it a privilege and I'm guessing the rest of our P4 group (almost 6,000 now) would love to pray for you too!

January 15, 2009

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Tomorrow (Friday) we'll be reading on in Luke chapter 9. In verses 44-45 we see Jesus telling the disciples once again that He is going to be killed. But the disciples don't understand what Jesus is telling them, and verse 45 says "they were afraid to ask him about this." That seemed a little odd to me (that the disciples would be afraid to ask Jesus something) so I asked myself why this response? Was it because Jesus had just commented about the faithless and twisted generation and having to bear with them? Or was it more about them feeling stupid asking Jesus something when he just stated it? Or was it because no one wanted to let on to the other disciples that he didn't get what Jesus just said?

Have you ever been afraid to approach or ask Jesus something? I know I have. I can think of times when I was fearful about opening my Bible because I thought what I'd read would be too convicting or I was worried because it might bring up something I'd done from my past that I wanted to forget. You see, I missed that maybe that's exactly what I needed--not to mention the fact that we never have to be afraid of approaching Jesus. What's so awesome about Jesus is He's always there waiting for us--no matter what. So if you're in one of those times when you're hesitant, unsure or even a little afraid to really dig into your Bible or have some intimate one-on-one with God, be encouraged because God knows right where you're at and He's ready to meet you--right now. Have a great weekend! Tami W.

January 12, 2009

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Today (Monday) we're reading Luke 8:40-56. I was originally going to talk to you about the woman with the blood problem but then I changed my mind. Instead of me talking about what I got out of today's reading, how about you tell me a couple of things? Are you up for it? I know you are. Here goes. The two main characters in this passage are Jairus and the woman with the medical condition. They both had incredible encounters with Jesus. So how do you think those encounters changed their relationship with God? And do you think those encounters/experiences affected their relationship with other people and, if so, how?

Alright, think about my questions. Maybe you'll even need to go back and read the passage again with those questions in mind. Then, send me your response. Tami W.

P.S. This isn't a trick question or anything. There are no wrong answers. Just wanting to get you thinking. :)

January 8, 2009

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For several months now I've been telling my husband and friends how much I want to get in shape and really get into a healthy routine. I really have been quite vocal about it. So guess what one of my Christmas gifts was this year? A month with a personal trainer. Pretty cool. On the surface I was excited, but inside, I was thinking yikes, now I really have to do this. Now I haven't really exercised consistently for a long time. So that first session with the trainer was hard for me even though he didn't give me a ton to do. The week following was even harder because my trainer wasn't there with me, I was sore and everything just felt foreign to me. Even so, I stuck with it and as I finished up that first week, I was surprised at how much easier the exercises were for me to do AND I was even looking forward to that time by about day 5.

I just had my second session on Tuesday after two weeks of working out on my own. By this time, I wasn't having any difficulty with the exercise and routine he had given me. But when my trainer arrived for the next session, he changed up the workout a bunch. First, he added more difficult exercises. Then he added more weight on some of them and finally, he had me workout longer. Needless to say, I kind of felt like we were back at that first session. It was hard and my body was weak and tired as we finished. But even as tired as I was, IT WAS AWESOME because I made it through and I know that as I work through this week doing that new regimen, I'm making strides forward in my health and establishing new, better life habits.

So why am I telling you all this? Well it occurred to me yesterday that my experience with my personal trainer wasn't much different than my experience with Bible reading once I finally made a decision and commitment to do it, and even my reading habits today. There were a lot of years where I gave lip service to reading the Bible for sure. I thought the Bible was great; I'd tell people that and I knew I should be reading but somehow, I just never got around to it, or when I did, it would be very sporadic, nothing consistent. I think it's because I was approaching reading my Bible as optional. In other words, my attitude was something like if I have time today I'll read my Bible and then I'd fill my time with other things. Or in the morning I'd tell myself I'll read my Bible tonight and then I was too tired or whatever. But then, something changed and I knew that I had to stop putting God's Word on the back burner. When I finally made that decision, it was exciting, but also a little scary because I wasn't sure I could do it (kind of like my exercise). At first, it was hard. I stumbled and missed a good number of days and felt like I didn't know what I was doing or some days, even why. But I kept pressing on, and I continue to press on, and what I've found is that when I'm consistently in the Word, reading and considering it and asking what does God have for me today, it's easier to understand and apply and I have a desire to come back and read more. But just like my exercise routine, I need to continually be "upping my weight" and when I take that step and dig in deeper or push myself to read more, it's hard--at least for the short term.

So wherever you're at today with your Bible reading, hang in there and stay with it. You're gonna hit some rough spots, miss days and maybe even have some dry spells, but God's Word never returns void. Plus, you're not alone. All of us here at Powered by 4 are right in there with you. Have a great weekend!! Tami W.

January 5, 2009

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Hello bloggers! Well I'm back to work and back to the daily grind after the holiday weekend. I'm guessing most of you are too. The next couple of days we're reading in Luke 6. There's some pretty hard hitting stuff in there. After reading it through, I came away saying "ouch, but thank you for the good reminder, Lord." Jesus pretty much tells it like it is, and that can be tough to hear. As I read Luke 6:22, my conscience was pricked a little because, honestly, I had to think some to recall the last time someone acted hateful or reviled me because of my stand for Jesus. Then, I moved down to verses 27-36 about loving our enemies and on to verses 37-42 about judging others. There went my conscience again. I'm pretty sure I could do a better job at loving others and particularly those people who aren't so loving to me. Plus, if I'm honest, I have a few planks in my eye that need removing. :(

Ok, by this time I was feeling a little low--but then, I got to verses 46-48. What a shot of encouragement and hope. You see, I had been focusing so much on those things I could do better at that I lost sight of the fact (just for a short while) that I have built my house with Jesus as the foundation (praise the Lord!) and that I'm not perfect and never will be. So what does this all mean for me? Well, for one, I'd better get out there and be aggressively talking about and promoting Jesus to people who don't yet know Him. And secondly, I need to be more intentional and work on loving and helping people.

So that's how God spoke to me through Luke 6. How about you? Did you get any of the same messages, or maybe something different? Drop me a blog. Tami W.

January 1, 2009

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Well it's finally here--2009--can you believe it? So let me start off by telling you how thankful I am that you are part of Powered by 4. The fact that you've committed to reading the Word with us each week is pretty awesome. If your life has been anything like mine over the past couple of holiday weeks, it's been full and really busy. Because of that, I've struggled with my Bible reading some days--and yes, I even missed a couple of days, I'm sad to say. Reality is, I can't go back and change those days. But I can start fresh today and ask the Lord to help me be diligent as I move into 2009. You can too.

I'll leave you with this. I read Psalm 119 last night. It was so wonderful. Over and over again it talks about meditating on God's statutes, learning God's law and then living and walking according to His Word. Psalm 119 is long and it's kind of repetitive too. I think that's why it hit me so wonderfully last night. What an absolute affirmation that there's nothing more important than taking in and living out God's Word. Thanks again for being part of Powered by 4 and for seeking God and His Word with us!!

We're having a few technical difficulties with my New Year's video blog, but we'll get it posted as soon as we can. Tami W.

P.S. By the way, there are now more than 5, 750 people taking part in Powered by 4. Amen to that!!

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 January 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2008 is the previous archive.

February 2009 is the next archive.

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