November 2010 Archives

The Beginning

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Genesis 2:4-25

I realized as we've been reading in Genesis this week that although I know a lot about the story of Adam and Eve, there's still quite a bit of information in the creation account for me to take in, and this in turn, will help me get a more complete picture. I had forgotten just how much explanation and detail we're really given. Things like how the earth was watered, different landmarks in Eden and, most importantly, specifics about the creation process.

So if you can, take a couple of minutes and read these verses again paying attention to all the detail. Then consider this: What does Genesis 2:4-25 reveal to us about our creation and purpose? What does it show us about God's desire for a relationship with us? Tami W.

Beautiful Design

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Genesis 1:26-31

I was traveling last week and spent quite a bit of time just looking at and watching people. I couldn't help but be amazed at how similar we are, yet at the same time, so incredibly unique. Kind of cool. Now as I was doing this people watching, I had just read Genesis 1:26-31 (working ahead on my blogs for the holiday weekend), and verse 27 had gotten my attention. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

I asked myself What does it mean for me that I was created in God's image? And What does that tell me about how God views people and, more specifically, me? And then What does this verse tell me about how I should view and value others? Overall, it was a good exercise because I don't think about my creation very often. I pondered a number of things, but the biggie for me was that it made me realize that I need to be more appreciative, more respectful, of who God has made me to be--my personality, the way I look physically, my gifting, etc.

So would you think about verse 27 today and ask yourself the questions I did above and any others that come to mind for you? Then if you're up for it, share your thoughts and tell us what God showed you today. Tami W.

P.S. Today we're starting a new 3-week series on Back to the Bible called What's Right with the Family? As always, our daily P4 readings will loosely follow the program, so I encourage you to tune in or listen online to go deeper in your study.

Breathe It Out

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Psalm 150:1-6

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" (Psalm 150:6). Do you have breath today? You know it. So we'd best be praising the Lord. Psalm 150 gives us a number of examples, but there are definitely many more ways we can praise.

So what does your praise look like--at church? With your family? At work? When you're alone? Tami W.

For Him

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Psalm 149:1-9

The first three verses of Psalm 149 describe us delighting in the Lord--singing Him a new song, dancing, making music. But then we get to verse 4 and we see that the Lord takes pleasure in us as well. How cool is that?

So what kinds of things (actions, attitudes, lifestyles) bring the Lord pleasure when He looks at us--His children? How is the Lord taking pleasure in you? Tami W.

Take Heart!

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Psalm 147:1-20

If there's one thing I've experienced first hand it's that we don't go through life without at least some heartbreak and hard circumstances. So I'm thankful for scripture like Psalm 147 that plainly lays out that the Lord "heals the brokenhearted" and "binds up their wounds." And then we come to these awesome and comforting words, "his understanding is beyond measure." This tells me that no matter what I'm going through, God knows my thoughts, my concerns, my feelings.

So did you draw comfort from Psalm 147? How so? Was there a particular verse or phrase that lifted you up today? Tami W.

P.S. Yesterday our thanks was directed toward God. How awesome! Today, how about sharing all the OTHER things you're thankful for. I know the list will be long because we are richly blessed. So take a minute and share what's on your Thankful List this year.

Thanksgiving Offering

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Psalm 116:1-19

Well it's Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. so I kind of had thanksgiving (the act, not the holiday) on the brain as I read Psalm 116 today. Verse 1 starts beautifully with the Psalmist proclaiming his love for the Lord. Then when we get to verses 16 and 17 we see this "I am your servant" and "I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving."

pumpkin So a couple of things today. First, would you take a moment, right now, and tell the Lord that you love Him? Then, let's consider what being the Lord's servant and offering to Him our sacrifice of thanksgiving might/should look like? Tami W.

P.S. Since we're focusing on thankfulness this week, I'd like to take a few days to reflect on and share what we're thankful for. Today, I'd love to hear what you're thankful for about God (His character, His promises, a particular part of Scripture, etc). There are so many reasons to praise Him, so let's hear it!

With Gladness

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Psalm 100:1-5

We're given a number of instructions in Psalm 100. Now I like to--make a joyful noise, come into his presence with singing and enter his gates with thanksgiving. I like serving with gladness too, but for whatever reason, I don't always accomplish it. Serving takes a little more planning and work than that joyful noise making, I guess.

So how do we accomplish serving cheerfully, with pleasure, with joy--with gladness? Any thoughts on some new or different ways we might try to expand our "gladness horizons" this week? Tami W.

Psalm 95:1-11

Our reading today, Psalm 95, is a call for us to praise the Lord in and with song. Now being a singer and musician, I love that idea. But I also love the ways the Psalmist lays out God's greatness and goodness for us. Verse 7 was my favorite. "For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand."

So what does being the people of His pasture and a sheep in His hand mean to and for you? How does knowing this influence your praise (with or without song) of the Lord today? Tami W.

Front and Center.

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Psalm 26:1-12

As I read Psalm 26 the message that came across was that David was confident in the Lord. He's walking in integrity, trusting in the Lord, walking in faithfulness, proclaiming thanksgiving, telling of God's wondrous deeds...you get the picture. So my first inclination today was to write about walking in integrity and faith. But as I went back and read this Psalm a few more times, this one phrase just kept grabbing my attention "For your steadfast love is before my eyes. . ." (vs. 3). How true that is, yet there are times I just miss that as I go about doing life.

So think about that phrase as it pertains to your life. How is God's steadfast love before you (your eyes) each day? How can we do a better job recognizing it? Tami W.

Proverbs 4:10-27

Yesterday, the benefits of having wisdom and insight caught my attention. But today, my thoughts were drawn to using the wisdom we have and then maintaining it through right living.

So how do we maintain wisdom and righteous living according to Proverbs 4? How can we accomplish and put into practice the instructions found in verses 23-27? Tami W.

Proverbs 4:1-9

Solomon had a lot to say about wisdom and we see quite a bit of his thinking here in Proverbs 4. He makes it quite clear that getting wisdom and insight is a critical part of life and living right before God.

Now our assigned reading today is only Proverbs 4: 1-9 (we're scheduled to read the remaining verses of Proverbs 4 tomorrow). But this Proverb is so cohesive and the thoughts flow so well from beginning to end that I'd ask that you take a couple of minutes and just read it all at once Then, let me know what you're thinking with the questions below.

What are the benefits of wisdom and insight presented in Proverbs 4? What's your personal experience been regarding wisdom and understanding? How does it line up with what we see here in Proverbs 4? Tami W.

Proclaim It!

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2 Timothy 4:5-8

We're in 2 Timothy today looking at a portion of a letter Paul wrote to Timothy. In 2 Timothy 4:1-8 Paul is giving instruction to Timothy about preaching the Word and making sure he understands how important this is.

These verses are good for us, too, because they also highlight the importance of the Bible and proclaiming God's Word. Now you might be thinking, But I'm not a preacher. Well, even if we're not preachers by vocation (and I'm guessing that's most of us) we still have a responsibility to spread the message of Christ, introduce people to the Bible and share Scripture with them when possible. And Paul's words in verse 7 tell me that this responsibility is for life. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

So what does fighting the fight, finishing the race and keeping the faith look like for you? How can we take part in combating people turning away from the Truth and going after what sounds good to them (vs. 3-5)? Tami W.

Our Offering

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Mark 12:41-44

We only have 4 verses to read and consider today, but those 4 short verses reveal much to us about giving--from both sides of the coin (no pun intended)--God's and ours. I could just visualize this woman and her sweet spirit and heart for the Lord. And her actions got me thinking about how easy it is to fall into a pattern of giving and kind of stop thinking about the why or how or reason for what we're doing.

Funny thing, but giving has been on my heart for the last few weeks and just two nights ago, my husband and I actually talked about our giving and making some changes. So I smiled a little when I read Mark 12:41-44 and then thought we could do some personal assessing together. Hope you're up for it? Here goes:

How are we doing when it comes to giving back to the Lord? (Now our passage dealt with money, but giving back also includes our time and efforts. So let's consider those areas as well.) Moving forward, what could each of us do to get us closer to the example of this widow? Tami W.

About Parents

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Deuteronomy 5:16; Ephesians 6:1-4

Both of our passages today give us the command to "Honor your father and mother." Now when I was younger and still lived under my parents' roof, honoring my dad and mom equated to basically obeying them. As I got older, got married and moved out, there was still an obey element but I realized that honoring went deeper and included things like respecting what I had been taught even though I was no longer under their direct authority, and seeking out their instruction and input in life decisions. My dad and mom are no longer living, but my honoring them goes on. It's just modified a bit.

So what has honoring your father and mother looked like in your life? Based on our passages today, how important do you think this is to God? Tami W.

1 Kings 9:1-5

The Lord appears to Solomon a second time here in 1 Kings 9:1-5. (You can read the account of the first appearing at 1 Kings 3:5-14.) This is shortly after Solomon has completed the temple, dedicated it and sacrificed offerings to the Lord. God affirms and recognizes Solomon's words and actions, and then offers (similar to 1 Kings 3) loving instruction and guidance to Solomon, telling him to walk with "integrity of heart and uprightness" and according to all that God had commanded (vs. 4). Those words were good for Solomon, and they're good for us too.

So what does walking with integrity of heart and uprightness mean to you? How will you work on putting that walk into practice this week? Tami W.

It's All About Love!

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1 Corinthians 13:4-8

We all LOVE to be loved. We need it. We desire it. And we need to be givers of it. So what better place to turn today than 1 Corinthians 13:4-8? We can learn a bunch about love from all sides from this passage.

So how are you doing when it comes to receiving love? How are doing with being a giver of love? What are some things you can do to get better in each category? Tami W.

P.S. Today we're beginning a new series on Back to the Bible, Five Lessons Kids Learn by Example. And today's topic, love, goes right along with our P4 readings.

Go and Do

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Mark 16:12-20

Jesus gives this clear and important command in Mark 16:15 "'Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. . .'" As I thought about this verse, it really hit me how it's not too difficult to get caught up in the busyness of life and lose sight of this important charge.

So what can we do to keep the proclaiming of Christ to our world a primary goal and focus as we go about our daily life? Tami W.

Believe

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John 20:19-31

Believing in Jesus was the central message for me today from John 20:19-31. When Jesus appears and shows himself to eleven of the disciples shortly after his resurrection, they believe. And Thomas also believes when Jesus appears a second time several days later. Then we hit these key verses "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (vs. 30-31).

So what is it that led you to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? And how do you, or have you, held firm to that belief? Tami W.

Cleopas & Companion

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Luke 24:13-34

Today we take a look at two men walking home to Emmaus several days after Jesus' crucifixion. The men are followers of Christ, and they're perplexed and sad, and trying to make sense of the events involving Jesus from the prior week. Jesus joins them on the road but they don't recognize him. So the three are walking together and there's talk of Jesus death, the news delivered by the women of Jesus' resurrection, and Jesus also explains the Scriptures about himself as they walk. As the day winds down, Jesus joins the men for dinner and it's at this point they recognize Jesus. Jesus vanishes and immediately Cleopas and his friend return to Jerusalem to tell the disciples what they've just experienced and witnessed.

Cleopas and his friend are just average people following Christ--pretty much like you and me. So what can we learn from these two men about living as Christ-followers? What do they show us about our tendencies when it comes to thoughts, actions and responses to the situations life brings our way? Tami W.

Across-the-Board

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Matthew 27:57-28:10

I spent quite a bit of time reading and re-reading Matthew 27:57-28:10 today. You see, I've read this passage so many times, so I set my mind on taking a little different approach. Here's where I landed. Instead of looking at the players in this passage and how they responded or what example they give us, I decided to take a more comprehensive approach. It took more of my time, but it was worth it and got me thinking outside the norm. Below are some of the questions I considered.

What does this passage show us about Jesus? How about our relationship with Him? What does it reveal to us about what we should be doing as followers of Christ? Tami W.

Megiddo

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Revelation 16:1-21

We turn to Revelation today and a passage that clues us in to a place and a future battle at Armageddon (also known as Megiddo). I've had several opportunities to visit this area of Megiddo and have driven through and gone up on the hillside and looked over the valley of Armageddon. It's quite beautiful--lush and green with fields full of crops.

But there will be a time when things won't be like they are today--and we cannot afford to overlook that. The events taking place in Revelation 16 are awful...horrendous. And then you add to that the hard-hearted response of the people (they cursed God and did not repent) and that tells me we need to do everything possible to reach people with the message of Christ...NOW.

So I'm curious, did Revelation 16 move you like it did me today? What was on your heart after reading this powerful chapter? Tami W.

Consistent Compassion

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Matthew 14:13-33

Jesus receives news of John the Baptist's death as we begin our reading today in Matthew 14:13. Similar to when we lose a relative or friend, Jesus withdraws (by boat) to be by himself during this sad time. But the crowds won't leave him be and they follow him on foot. So Jesus wants solitude, but when he reaches the shore he's met head on by the crowd. So how did Jesus respond? With compassion, which is pretty amazing considering all that's happened. Verse 14 tells us Jesus sees the crowd and "had compassion on them and healed their sick."

Jesus also demonstrates compassion with the disciples later in Matthew 14. The disciples are on the Sea of Galilee in a storm and they see Jesus walking on the water towards them. Now they're likely already afraid because of the storm, but they are "terrified" when they see Jesus. Jesus tells them compassionately "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid" (vs. 27).

On a scale of 1-10, where are you when it comes to being compassionate and helping others? What are some things you can do (even yet today) to put compassion into practice like Jesus? Tami W.

Blind Faith!

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Mark 10:46-52

Blind Bartimaeus, a beggar from Jericho, charged me up today. Bartimaeus finds out that Jesus is coming near where he's at and he immediately cries out for mercy from Jesus. The people tell him to be quiet, but Bartimaeus won't be silenced. He cries out all the more. As a result, Jesus hears Bartimaeus and calls for him. With no hesitation, Bartimaeus throws off his coat and "sprang up and came to Jesus" (vs. 50). He then boldly tells Jesus his need and request and Jesus responds "'Go your way; your faith has made you well'" (vs. 52).

I think I can learn a thing or two from blind Bartimaeus. So how can we use this passage to help us grow in our faith? Anything specific from Bartimaeus' story that touched you and/or that you can use in your life today? Tami W.

Always There

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Psalm 82:1-8

Psalm 82 is a little sobering. The words we read and the picture painted are definitely hard. But in these dark times we see the Psalmist diligently seeking God as He asks for His help and rescue.

What does Psalm 82 show us about our relationship with God? How can we use and draw upon these verses in our prayer life? Tami W.

God LOVES You!

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Psalm 81:1-16

Have you ever noticed how sometimes when you read, a particular thought or message will just stand out to you? Well, as I read Psalm 81 today it seemed like verse after verse just showed me how deep God's love is for us. I was particularly moved by verses 8-10 where God is telling us if we simply listen to Him, if we surrender and open our hearts, He will be our all. (Thank you, Lord!)

So what are you doing to accept and reciprocate God's love? What can we do to help us be better listeners to God and what He has for us? Tami W.

Make the Most

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Luke 2:1-20

We're getting a little preview of that part of the Christmas story that involves the shepherds with Luke 2:1-20. The shepherds are just going about their normal business when--BOOM--an angel appears. Naturally they're frightened, but they listen and then take immediate action ("went with haste" vs. 16). They find Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus and then verse 20 tells us that "the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. . ." Now put yourself in the place of those shepherds for a moment. This must have been an incredible, mind-blowing, remarkable (you choose the adjective) experience.

Opportunities and situations that are unsettling, frightening or just plain scary come up in the course of life. So how can we use and draw upon this passage and what we see from these shepherds when we find ourselves in one of these situations? Tami W.

Mighty in Action

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1 Kings 18:17-46

The showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal is one of my favorite accounts in the Bible. Every time I read it, I get fired up (no pun intended) about getting out there and "doing" for the Lord. Now the perception of the people here was that Elijah was an outcast and an underdog. But NOT SO!

So what is God asking or moving you to do? How can we get the confidence and boldness of Elijah as we go about whatever God has for us? Tami W.

Quite the Trooper

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Acts 24:1-27

Paul has been arrested and is in prison in Acts 24:1-27 and he's now before Felix, the governor. As we start out our passage, the Jewish leaders present their case against Paul and then Paul responds. So case over and decided--right? Nope. Apparently there were no speedy trial rules back in Paul's day. So Felix drags things out and refuses to issue a ruling. Paul was in captivity for two years and when Felix left office, he left Paul there in prison. Now I'm thinking Paul had to be disappointed. Yet, there's no outward indication of that, even as we read down through Acts 25.

Paul was a trooper and his example was truly an encouragement to me today to hang in there and stay the course concerning some things I've been praying about and dealing with for a number of months now.

So how do we develop an attitude and mindset like we see Paul demonstrating here? Any "trooper" experiences you'd like to share? Tami W.

No Waver

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John 1:19-34

I like John the Baptist. He's down to earth and isn't afraid to just tell it like it is. In John 1:19-34 a number of people are really pressing him about religious matters--Is he the Christ? Is he Elijah? Is he the Prophet? John responds plainly and confidently with "'I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, "Make straight the way of the Lord"'" (vs. 23).

Then the next day, John sees Jesus in the distance and once again plainly and confidently talks about and proclaims Jesus. "'Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'" (vs. 29).

We need to be prepared to respond to questions about Jesus from all angles--positive, negative, questioning, seeking, you name it. So the next time you have the opportunity to talk about Jesus, how might you respond? What can we do to be more like John--confident, assured and unwavering when it comes to Jesus and living for Him? Tami W.

Wealth of Information

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Psalm 18:1-50

Psalm 18 is just packed full. Full of details, information and events, full of encouragement, full of examples, full of instruction...you get the picture. I think I could spend days just considering all that's there.

So I'm curious. What did you learn about God from Psalm 80? What about our Christian walk and relationship with Him? 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 November 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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