January 2010 Archives

Stellar example

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Daniel 6:1-28

Daniel found himself in quite a predicament because he continued to worship and serve God. Bottom line, he was set up and even though Daniel was the king's favorite, he was sentenced to face the lions. Even so, we never see Daniel flinch or falter. And this didn't go unnoticed by King Darius. He calls out saying "Daniel, servant of the living God..." Then, after Daniel survives the night with not even a scratch, Darius again recognizes that the God of Daniel is the living God.

We serve that same living God. So what are you doing in your daily life to show that to others? Think about what your actions communicate. What are doing at work? At home? As you run errands? What is it about you that tells others you serve the living God? Tami W.

No other gods

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Daniel 3:8-30

Physically bowing down to a man-made god is such a strange concept to me--that is, until the last few days. As I mentioned yesterday, I've been in Thailand this week. The day we arrived, we took a short tour of the city. We didn't have to drive far before we saw our first of many temples and shrines complete with people bowing, praying and offering sacrifices. Kind of sounds like what was going on in Daniel 3.

Being in Thailand has been an eye opener for me this week. As I observed people worshiping the many wooden, resin, bronze, etc. idols, I was saddened--first for the many lost people of Thailand, but also for me because I saw a fervor to their worship that, if I'm honest, I don't always show toward God. That realization hurt.

So what's keeping us (you and me) from fervently and passionately bowing to the One true God who is worthy of our worship? Tami W.

Hello from Thailand!

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Psalm 13

This week has been special. I've been in Thailand taking part in planning meetings with our BttB international offices. Each morning we've had one of our international directors start our day with a devotion. Yesterday we heard from David Logacho from Ecuador and he spoke on Psalm 13 (our reading for today). David's devotion touched my heart. You see, BttB Ecuador has gone through some rough financial times the last couple of years. Even so, David and his staff have never ceased to diligently spread the Gospel and teach God's Word wherever possible. David shared details of some of those difficult days with us but then concluded (just like King David) by praising the Lord and publicly proclaiming God's goodness.

God is good all the time. Any thoughts on keeping that fact front and center? How about taking full advantage of it in and through the tough times? Tami W.

Our spiritual Rock

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1 Corinthians 10:1-13

As Paul was talking in 1 Corinthians 10, these words caught my attention: "spiritual food," "spiritual drink," and most importantly, "spiritual Rock." And then, the last few words of verse 4 really hit me "that rock was Christ." That prompted me to ask Am I living like Christ is my rock? My immediate answer was Yes, absolutely. But then I stopped and really contemplated. Guess what? My answer changed to Most of the time, but not always. You see, the truth of the matter is that while I love and trust the Lord, there are still times when "Tami" takes the reins and tries to do things in her own strength. Whenever I do that, I'm not putting Christ first and letting Him be my rock.

So what does Christ being our spiritual Rock mean to you? How is that reflected in your day to day life? Tami W.

Misery loves company

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Genesis 37:12-25; 50:15-21

Joseph's brothers definitely had some issues--jealousy, envy, anger--and unfortunately, they chose to deal with them poorly. Their behavior really reinforced for me just how powerful negative speech and thinking can be, not to mention how difficult it is to stand up for and/or do what is right when those around you fall victim to negative group thinking.

So what are some things we can do so that we don't jump on the discontentment bandwagon when the opportunity arises? And, when we sense a growing spirit of discontentment in ourselves or we're already there, what can we do to deal with and counteract that negativism? Tami W.

P.S. Come say hi on Facebook or Twitter!

There is no other

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Deuteronomy 4:32-40

Deuteronomy 4:39 says, "Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other."

This verse really drives home how awesome God is and instructs us to acknowledge him.

So how are you going to do that today? What do you do to give recognition and honor to God both privately and publicly? How about adding to that list today? Tami W.

Don't Wait

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Deuteronomy 4:25-31

Sometimes we need hard times to get us back on track with God. As difficult as this is to admit, that's certainly been my experience a number of times. We see that in our reading today as well. "When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the Lord your God and obey his voice." (Deut. 4:30)

Thankfully we don't have to wait for tribulation to come to turn back and give our full love and attention to God. So here's my challenge. Wherever our relationships are today with the Lord, let's make them stronger and better. Here are a couple of suggestions: say an extra prayer of thanks, spend more time in the Word. Do you have any other suggestions? Pass them along so we can give them a try. Tami W.

P.S. Hey, if you haven't heard yet, Powered by 4 is going social...starting today! You can now find P4 on Facebook and Twitter. So go check it out. I'd love to hear from all of you!

Deuteronomy 4:1-14

I like rules generally. I think they're necessary. Life would be chaotic without them. So I think that's why I like today's passage so much because it totally highlighted the rules that really matter...God's rules.

After reading Deut. 4:1-14, how important do you think it is to God, not to mention for us, that we keep His statutes and law? Recognizing that none of us are perfect and we never will be here on earth, what are some ways we can keep God's commandments close to our hearts and work on living them out each day? Tami W.

P.S. If you're doing P4, you're already on the right track. Thanks for your commitment to reading the Word with me each day.

Leave me alone

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Exodus 14:1-13,

Have you ever noticed that when we're faced with a challenge many times we choose to play it safe instead of trusting God and striving for something better? The Israelites had this problem too. As they approached the Red Sea and it looked like there was going to be trouble with the Egyptians, they cried out to Moses saying "What have you done to us bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians that to die in the wilderness."

Why are we content to stay where we're at when God has something so much better for us? How can we work on boldly stepping out when God puts an opportunity in front of us? Tami W.

Do the right thing

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Jeremiah 38:1-13

I found the behavior and examples set by the three main characters in our passage today (Jeremiah, King Zedekiah, Ebed-Melech) quite revealing. Jeremiah and Edbed-Melech did the right things despite being in difficult, even life threatening situations. They both followed God. Zedekiah, on the other hand, was spineless. He didn't want God, and his actions were determined by him and whatever seemed right to him at the moment. (Not recommended BTW, see Jeremiah 39).

So were you inspired by Jeremiah and Ebed-Melech like I was? What can we do to be more like them (tuned into God) the next time life throws us a curve ball? (Maybe you're already there?) Tami W.

2 Samuel 24:10-25

Pride is a problem. God doesn't condone it and we see that clearly with David in 2 Samuel 24:10-25. Because David lets his pride dictate his heart and actions, 70,000 innocent people die. That's horrible, not to mention heartbreaking, and it's hard for me to even comprehend.

As a Christian I don't strive to be prideful, in fact my desire is not to go there. Even so it still happens. So let's tackle pride head on today We've all been there, so what have you learned from your experiences? And how can we guard against it going forward? Tami W.

Not just for kids

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Noah's Ark

Genesis 6:5-7:16

If you go shopping and walk through the kids area or down the baby aisle one of the things you're likely to see is some depiction of Noah's story--toys, banks, wall paper, picture frames, clocks, you name it--all with cute pairs of animals and the ark. Noah's story, however, really isn't kid stuff at all. It's serious and what happens is downright awful. Yet in the middle of sin, wickedness, corruption and impending mass death and destruction, Noah is a bright light. Scripture tells us he was righteous, blameless and obedient.

So what can we do with Noah's example? Do you see anything that you want to put into practice in your life? Tami W.

No division

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Romans 8:28-39

This is such a great passage today. So I'm going to keep it short and sweet. Here goes. What does--Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (See Romans 8: 35-39)--mean to you? How do we make the most of it? Tami W.

Job 31:1-37

As Christians we're called to live with clean hands and a pure heart. Sometimes I wonder exactly what that looks like, you know, the details. Well, Job 31 provides a lot of answers in this area. Godly living is laid out verse after verse. By the time I got half way through this passage my mind was a little overwhelmed, though, because there were so many examples of both things to do and not to do as a Christian. You could almost use this chapter as a kind of checklist.

So how did Job 31 hit you? How will you apply Job 31 to your life today? Tami W.

Just ask

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James 1:5-8; 3:13-18

The first verse of our reading, James 1:5, says it all for me. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him." Pretty clear, don't you think? Yet, I find myself falling short in this area time and again and I'm guessing you do to.

So why is it we don't ask God for wisdom more often? How can we fix that? How about an example of a time when you asked and God answered mightily? Tami W.

P.S. Sorry today's blog didn't post this morning. I'd still love to hear from you.

No shame!

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2 Timothy 1:8-18

It's easy to say that we love the Lord and that we're not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. But then we walk outside the church walls or maybe the comfort of our home and get hit with the message of the world which ridicules everything we as Christians stand for.

So I'd love to hear your thoughts on what's helped you take that strong stand and say "I am not ashamed." Tami W.

A solid foundation

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Isaiah 33:1-17

This past year was a tough one for me. I always have a lot going on since I'm such a type A, but when my mom was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer and spent her last weeks in hospice, my world definitely changed. However, as I walked with her through those final days, I was so thankful for the foundation both she and I had in the Lord.

As I read these words in Isaiah 33:6 "And he will be the stability of your times. . ." memories of my very difficult summer surfaced. But I smiled as I read them, knowing that those words are absolute truth.

So how has the Lord been a stability for you lately? Tami W.

Just ask

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James 1:5-8; 3:13-18

The first verse of our reading, James 1:5, says it all for me. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him." Pretty clear, don't you think? Yet, I find myself falling short in this area time and again and I'm guessing you do to.

So why is it we don't ask God for wisdom more often? How can we fix that? How about an example of a time when you asked and God answered mightily? Tami W.

F-A-I-T-H

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Genesis 12:1-9 and Genesis 22:1-19

If you have questions about faith--maybe what it looks like--then look no further because today's reading is full of faith. How Abraham responded in both passages really portrays faith for me. Whatever God asks of Abraham, he does--no questioning, no complaining, no attitude. The verse that really got me was Genesis 22:10. Abraham takes hold of the knife to kill Isaac but before he can complete the act the Lord calls out to him and Abraham responds, "Here am I." When I read those three words, I was moved. What a completely submissive and tender response to the Lord in the most unimaginable circumstance. I couldn't help thinking Oh, to be like Abraham.

So what does "Here am I" mean to you? If you were to say "Here am I, Lord" right now, would that bring about any changes in your life? Tami W.

Go and do likewise!

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Luke 10:30-37 and 3 John 9-12

Our reading today is one of the most well known stories in the Bible, that of the good Samaritan. So as I read it for the umpteenth time I asked the Lord to highlight a phrase or idea for me. Well it only took a few seconds for God to answer. As I read verse 33, the last three words jumped right out at me. "But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion." (emphasis added).

The call to show compassion and help people is a message God has been laying on my heart over and over for the past year or so. I've really tried to take hold of that call and be aware of people's needs and then to act on them. It's a work in process because sometimes I'm just not tuned in to all the needs around me. But I'm working on it.

As our reading concludes, Jesus tells the lawyer to "go and do likewise." That's really an instruction to us too, you know. So how might we do that? What have you done this week to show compassion? Tami W.

Me a custodian?

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flock of sheep

Proverbs 27:1-27

In case you didn't know it, you're a custodian. Actually, we all are. Every single thing we have has been entrusted to us by God and He expects us to be a good steward of what He gives us. Proverbs 27:23-27 provided me with a little stewardship reminder today. I particularly liked verse 23 "Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds."

So what does being a good steward mean to you? What are you doing to be a good steward today? Tami W.

2 Chronicles 17:1-13

We're starting another new series today on BttB called "Stepping Stones in Life's Streams." Our focus is on 2 Chronicles 17 and Jehoshaphat today. As I read this chapter I looked for verses that showed enthusiasm. My favorite was verse 6. "His [Jehoshaphat's] heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord." (Don't you love that?)

So what does that mean, to have a heart that is courageous for the Lord? What does making it a reality in our lives look like? Tami W.

P.S. The four key takeaways from BttB today are: seek, walk, delight and be ready. If you want more information, you'll have to check out the program. Have fun!

Psalm 51:1-19 and 2 Samuel 12:15-25

When I read or hear the word broken, generally bad things come to mind. But when it comes to our walk with the Lord, being broken isn't a bad thing at all. In fact, it's desirable. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:17)

So what does having a broken spirit and a contrite heart mean to you? What might that look like as we live out our lives? Tami W.

2 Samuel 11:1-12:15

Reading about David and Bathsheba and all the fall out from David's actions always makes me sad. This story contains lots of sinful behavior--lust, adultery, murder, pride--and all this from the one man God refers to as being after His (God's) heart.

So why do you think God allowed us to see in detail the shortcomings of David? How about sharing one take away (cause I'm guessing there are many) from this story. Tami W.

An angry Christian?

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Nehemiah 1:1-11; 13:1-14

Do you ever feel like there's this unspoken rule that as a Christian you shouldn't get angry or get in someone's face? Because I sure do. Yet, when I read Nehemiah 13, that's exactly what I see. The fact of the matter is that as long as we're human and breathing (that's all of us), we are going to have to deal with tensions and anger.

So what does this passage show us about the role anger and/or confrontation can play both in and outside the Body? Tami W.

2 Chronicles 33:1-20

Every day this week on BttB we're looking at different people who had to start over. Today is Manasseh and oh, what a story. It's one of my all time favorites. If television had been around in Manasseh's day, he would have been the star on the hottest Extreme Makeover show.

I'm really good at dredging up wrongs from my past and beating myself over the head with them. I know, it's not smart and it's not productive, but I still go there (my husband will vouch for this). That's why I'm thankful we can read about Manasseh and others like him. When I see all of Manasseh's sins followed by God's absolute forgiveness (no reminders, no ongoing penalties), it helps me get my thinking back on track.

How can we accept God's forgiveness completely? Any thoughts on how can we work on not penalizing ourselves for past sin and allowing it to cripple us as we live out our Christian lives? Tami W.

Jonah 1:1-10; 2:1-10; 4:1-11

There are so many prayers throughout the Bible. I like reading them for the examples they provide of different ways to pray. They're full of emotions, requests, content, attitudes, structure. All good and helpful because I need those reminders that prayer is truly a conversation with God and He wants to hear what's on my heart-- my thanks, my hurts, my praise, my requests. And, that conversation is dynamic and ongoing, just like my life.

So how did you find Jonah's prayer? Was there anything he did or prayed that stood out to you? Did you see anything you might want to model when you pray? (I loved the way he was so real and just poured out his heart to God. I'm going to work on doing more of that when I pray.) Tami W.

John 18:12-27; Acts 2:14-41

It was hard for me to read John 18:12-27 because, if I'm honest, I see myself in this scene. This is definitely Peter's biggest stumble, and boy, does he fall flat on his face--and three times no less. Well thankfully, living for Christ isn't a game with the three strikes and you're out rule (a big amen to that!!!). Living for Christ IS life and He is loving and forgiving and willing to take us back when we mess up--even in the biggest way.

The Peter we see in Acts 2 is absolutely amazing. He's a 180 of the Peter in John 18. So how can we get to being like that Acts 2 Peter? What are some practical things we can do to help us stumble less and shine for the Lord instead? Tami W.

P.S. Something I try to do is let people know that I'm a Christ follower early on in whatever situation I'm in (many times that can be accomplished by simply telling people where I work). It takes the pressure off of me right away and opens the door for the Holy Spirit to work.

Genesis 28:10-22 and Genesis 35:1-15

Today is day one of a new series on Back to the Bible called "Sometimes You Have to Start Over." We're looking at the lives of five different Bible characters that had start overs and today's character is Jacob--and he was definitely a character. :)

Jacob didn't just make some mistakes, he made some big ones. Even so, God tells him "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go...I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Gen. 28:15). Then just a few chapters later we see Jacob building an altar to "the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone." (Gen. 35:3). Wow. God is so loving, so forgiving. He is truly a God of fresh starts.

I'm so thankful for start overs, and believe me, I've had my fair share. Are you with me? So let's talk. I'd love to hear about some fresh start experiences. Tami W.

No softballs here

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Jude

Jude gives us a clear and frank warning about falling victim to people whose message is contrary to the Word of God. He also calls us to defend our faith.,("contend to the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 1:3)).

So here's my question today. As we're defending our faith, how do we make sure that we hold fast to the truth ourselves? Tami W.

Thank you Onesimus

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Philemon

If it wasn't for Onesimus, we may not have gotten to see the wise, articulate and particularly persuasive manner in which Paul deals with a tough a situation. (The attorney in me absolutely loved it!) Well here's the thing. Conflict and problems are inevitable--even in the Church. Like it or not, at some point we'll all have to deal with a difficult person, situation or circumstance. So what can we take away from Philemon that we can make use of as we live, work and fellowship with other Christians? Tami W.

Titus 3

Mention the plan of salvation and typically Romans or John comes to mind, not Titus. But it's there (Titus 3:3-8). I never get tired of reading about God's mercy and grace, and, funny thing, it was just what I needed this morning. You see a friend of the family recently found out that he has cancer and is very ill in the hospital. Thankfully, he and his family are strong Christians. As I've spent time with them over the last week or so, their complete trust in the Lord is so evident. So when I read Titus 3:7 which says "being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life" I immediately thought of them.

So what does it mean for you to have hope or confidence that you will inherit eternal life? How can we fully embrace this incredible promise in whatever our situation is today? Tami W.

P.S. I'd sure appreciate your prayers today for my friend in the hospital battling cancer. His name is Joe and I know he would appreciate your prayers as well.

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 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2009 is the previous archive.

February 2010 is the next archive.

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