December 2010 Archives

Fix Those Eyes

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Genesis 49:1-50:26

The last two chapters of Genesis wrap up Joseph's story. At this point, Joseph's family is together in Egypt. Jacob dies and then eventually Joseph does as well.

Joseph is pretty amazing, don't you think? He certainly had less than smooth sailing for a good portion of his life, yet he never waived in his faith. His attitude, his words, his actions, were stellar. Why? Because Joseph kept his eyes fixed on God.

So how can we be more like Joseph--keeping our eyes fixed on the Lord at all times? What do you do now to help in this area? What other things might be helpful? Tami W.

Surrendered

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Matthew 26:36-41; James 4:7-10

Two passages today dealing with surrendering our will to God's. James 4:7-10 tells us to submit ourselves to God and then to humble ourselves before the Lord. Jesus gives us the perfect example of how to do this in Matthew 26:36-41.

So the task before me (us) today is to fully submit and surrender to God. Now I have to tell you, I struggle in this area. But then I see that even Jesus asked the Father that if it was possible, to let this cup pass. That lets me know that, yes, this can be tough. But more importantly, Jesus' example shows me that I can absolutely trust and rely on God and that in all circumstances I need to submit to Him.

So what's it going to take for us to say wholeheartedly, "I submit. I surrender"? What would be the result if we started each day with these 5 words--not my will but Yours? Tami W.

Wise Walker

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Ephesians 5:15-21

Paul advices and cautions us in Ephesians 5:15 to look carefully at, and to be careful about, our Christian walk. He then goes on putting before us things that are good for, and contribute to, the right kind of walk, and he also tells us things that will hamper and deter us.

The goal Paul sets before us today is to walk wisely. So what is that going to look like for you this week or this month? Was there an instruction or a caution from Ephesians 5:15-21 that you can use and put into action? Tami W.

No Wiggle Room

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John 14:1-9

The message of John 14:1-9 is absolutely clear. Jesus is the ONLY way we can get to heaven. "'I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

The message of the world today is pretty much any path I choose is good for me... to get me into heaven or wherever. That message is dead wrong (and I do mean dead in the full sense of the word). We know the truth and we're called to proclaim it.

So how can we use John 14:1-9 to let others know their need for a relationship with Jesus? Would you take a few minutes today and just think through this passage and how you might present it to someone in need? Tami W.

Concerned--For Others

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Nehemiah 1:1-11

Nehemiah's prayer is front and center as we turn to Nehemiah 1:1-11 today. This is such a moving and emotional prayer. Nehemiah doesn't hold back. He speaks freely with God and simply pours out what's on his heart. But what really stood out for me was that Nehemiah's fervent prayer wasn't centered around or about him. It was for the situation and needs of others. That's an example I'd do well to follow more often.

So what can we do to help expand our focus to include others' needs in addition to our own? Is there a person or family or a need in your church or community that you can take before the Lord in prayer? Tami W.

P.S. This week we're airing the Best of 2010 on Back to the Bible. Join us and listen to all five favorites.

Rich with Information

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John 1:1-18

The opening verses of John are simply overflowing with information on Jesus. A lot is revealed to us in a very short read. We see that Jesus is the Word, that He was in the beginning with God, that He was God, and that He is our creator...I'll let you read and consider the rest.

So was there a particular verse or description of Jesus that really spoke to you today? (For me, it was verse 5. "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." It was a good and needed reminder.) Did you see anything new about Jesus here in John 1:1-18? Tami W.

Matthew 1:18-25

mary & joseph

Such a familiar passage for us here on Christmas day (Merry Christmas--by the way). Since Joseph is the main character, I decided to focus in on him. Early on in this passage we're told that Joseph is a "just" man and from everything we read here, he certainly conducted himself in that manner. Joseph found himself in a difficult situation and it wasn't because of anything he did. That's tough. And you and I both know that when that happens in our lives, sometimes we react poorly. But not Joseph.

So what can we learn and put into practice from Joseph's example? What does this passage show us about God's ways versus ours? Tami W.

What Gifts?

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Matthew 2:1-18

When the wise men arrived at the place where Jesus was, they went into the house and worshiped Him. Matthew 2:11 says "Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh." This verse really got me thinking about the gifts I offer the Lord. What am I offering? Do I offer what I treasure most? And am I joyful when it comes to my giving? Some tough questions, I know, but good to review and consider every so often. (And just so you know, doing this assessment highlighted a few things for me to work on.)

So what about you? What do your gifts to the Lord look like? Are you offering to the Lord those things you treasure? And finally, are you a joyful giver? Tami W.

*Today is the last day of our Voices of Christmas series, so take some time to listen in to some of the conversations that may have taken place during the time of our Savior's birth. You can also get the teaching series & drama on CD to enjoy for years to come.

Sweet Confirmation

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Luke 2:25-38

Simeon and Anna don't come onto the scene until Jesus is brought to the temple for dedication. They are both committed servants of the Lord waiting for the Messiah. But what hit me about these two is how they provided, through their actions and words, confirmation and encouragement to both Mary and Joseph about what they were going through and their service to the Lord.

So the next time you find yourself uncertain about your work for the Lord--how things are going or if you should continue--and confirmation comes (maybe through an email, phone call or a card) how will you make the most of it? On the flip side, is there someone you can provide confirmation and encouragement to this week? Tami W.

*Be transported back in time with our Voices of Christmas presentation. Tune in here.

Like the Shepherds

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Luke 2:1-20

Today we get a good look at the shepherds and the part they played in the Christmas story. The more I read, the more I realized that I would do well to pattern my responses to the Lord after those of the shepherds. To sum it up, they were thorough and committed.

The shepherds are fearful when the angel first appears (logical) but they listen to what the angel has to tell them, they discuss and consider what they've been told and then they act on it right away. After they find Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, they tell others about their experience and then return "glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen" (vs. 20).

So what did you learn from the shepherds? What can we do to get to that place of being thorough and committed in our response(s) to the Lord? Tami W.

P.S. As we come to the end of 2010, I invite you to consider partnering financially with Back to the Bible. (Now if you're already supporting BttB--thank you so much! We couldn't do ministry--radio, web, cell phone, print--without you.) Would you prayerfully consider joining with us to reach more people and engage them with the life-changing Word of God? It's between you and God, but please know any gift makes an impact and is so appreciated. Give a gift today

*Join me on Back to the Bible for Voices of Christmas all this week. Listen online

Luke 1:46-55

The song of praise we see from Mary is simply beautiful. I can almost feel her joy as she poured her heart out to the Lord. But what I marvel at the most, what I find so intriguing about this song, is the absolute faith and trust demonstrated by Mary. None of the things that were happening to Mary were part of her plans, yet she submitted to God joyfully even though the situation had to be scary. That amazes me.

So what can we do to get our hearts and attitudes more like Mary's today? How can we use and draw on Mary's song and example to help us let go of our plans so we can joyfully proceed with what the Lord has for us? Tami W.

Nothing Is Impossible

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Luke 1:1-38

I love the Christmas story. So I was definitely smiling today because we're reading the beginning of the Christmas story from Luke's perspective. As I started, I was wondering just what I would blog on from this very familiar story. Well when I got to verse 37, I knew. The angel Gabriel has told Mary about her pregnancy and is now telling her about Elizabeth being pregnant. Gabriel concludes with these beautiful words, "For nothing is impossible with God."

Now I thought about Gabriel's words and landed here. It's easy for us to read those words and nod our heads in agreement, but do we truly believe them, and do our actions reflect that thinking? Knowing that NOTHING is impossible with God, is there something you can turn over to Him today? Tami W.

P.S. If you'd like to hear a drama of today's passage paired with teaching from Dr. Kroll, check out Back to the Bible today and the rest of this week for Voices of Christmas. Listen to the audio clip for a small taste of the series.

Not Like the Grass

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Isaiah 40:1-11

I love the rich and vivid descriptions we're given in Isaiah 40:6-8. Isaiah lets us know that we (people) are basically like perishable plants. And then he puts the most important message before us emphasizing it through contrast. "But the word of our God will stand forever." That's a message that I need to draw on every day.

So what does knowing that God's Word will stand forever mean for you today? How does it give you hope? Courage? Strength? Encouragement? Tami W.

P.S. All this coming week on Back to the Bible is our special Christmas series called Voices of Christmas. It's basically short dramas paired with Dr. Kroll's teaching on the Christmas story. (To whet your appetite, you can listen to an audio clip (right) or watch a preview from Dr. Kroll.) Make sure and check it out starting tomorrow.

Telling Names

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Isaiah 7:14; 9:2-7

Five incredible, descriptive names: Immanuel...Wonderful Counselor...Mighty God...Everlasting Father...Prince of Peace.

So what do these names tell us about Jesus? Our relationship with Him? Was there a particular name that moved your heart today? Tami W.

Our Life = Christ

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Genesis 1:27-28; Jeremiah 29:11; Colossians 3:1-17

Colossians 3:1-17 was like a breath of fresh air for me today. This is such an excellent passage and a great place to go for reminders of what our lives should look like as Christ-followers and what it is that God has for us. This passage is literally jammed full of direction and instruction for us.

As I began reading, the first few words of verse 4 ("When Christ, who is your life. . .") hit me head on. I stopped right there and asked myself What does "Christ is my life" really mean for me? I had some thoughts and then, as I continued on, what Paul had to say helped me answer that question even more.

So what does "Christ being your life" mean for you? Was there a specific portion of Colossians 3:1-17 that spoke to you today? Tami W.

P.S. Today is the final day of our family series on Back to the Bible, so if you haven't already, check out the programs on our website. Also, we've developed a brand new resource for families that's pretty unique and super fun. Take a look at our God IS ... Family Devotional Cards to see why I'm so excited.

Aging Matters

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1 Timothy 5:1-8; Proverbs 15:1; 28:24

Paul is giving instruction to the Church concerning older people in 1 Timothy 5:1-8. But these words also give us guidance and instruction for our family and its members. These verses highlight the expectation from God that we respect, value and take care of those around us who are older, both within the Church body and within our families.

As I look around at things like television, online ads, magazines, the message that is so clear today is that youth (being young, looking young, acting young) is king. So Paul's words were good to read today. They gave me a shot of perspective regarding how we view and treat older people and even prompted me to do a little thinking about handling the process of getting older myself.

So what can we do to make sure our attitudes and actions are in line with what Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 5:1-8? And, is there someone older that you could be helping--either in your family or your church? Tami W.

Proverbs 23:22-25; 2 Timothy 1:16-18

Some good instruction and insight on relationships today from Proverbs and 2 Timothy. But it was the verses from 2 Timothy that talked about Onesiphorus that really captured my attention. They focused my thinking in on the value of relationships. Although Paul and Onesiphorus weren't blood relatives, Onesiphorus acted like a brother to Paul--serving and encouraging him.

Does Onesiphorus' example encourage you regarding helping others, particularly family? As we approach Christmas, who might you refresh, encourage and help? Tami W.

P.S. We continue to look at "What's Right with the Family?" this week on Back to the Bible. So if you can, join us for those studies--either online or via your local Christian radio station.

Not to be Avoided

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Proverbs 13:18; 15:12; 19:18

More on discipline today from three short verses in Proverbs. Even so, they give us plenty to consider.

So what did these verses show you about needing discipline? Receiving discipline? What about the benefits of discipline? Tami W

Children...of God.

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Proverbs 13:24; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15

All our verses today talk about and deal with discipline of children. Now I'm no longer a child when it comes to my physical age, but I am a child of God.

So what do these verses reveal to us about God the Father? How can we draw on and use what we see here as children of God? Tami W.

Real

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Psalm 86:1-17

I love the Psalms written by David. You never have to wonder what's on his heart because he tells it like it is. His relationship and communications with the Lord are open, honest and real.

So what can we do to capture the attitude and approach of David? How can we use and draw upon this Psalm to help us with whatever our circumstances are today? Tami W.

One Approach

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Psalm 85:1-13

Psalm 85 is a petitioning of the Lord for restoration. The psalmist is looking back, recalling a time when God restored Israel and asking God to respond similarly in the present. It gives us a glimpse of the thinking and mindset of the writer, as well as yet another good look at God.

So what can we learn and put into practice from this Psalm? What does Psalm 85 show us about God? Tami W.

Love 101

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Proverbs 5:15-19; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

If you're wanting some basic, and then some, information about love, then look no further than 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. There you'll find layer after layer of details about love from different angles. We're told what it is--patient, kind, rejoices with the truth, and also what it isn't--not envious or boastful, not arrogant or rude.

I find this passage uplifting and encouraging because it describes the perfect love Christ has for us. Yet at the same time, these verses are challenging and convicting because they lay out how I should be when it comes to giving and receiving love. I want and intend for my love to be patient and kind (and all the other qualities we see here) but, truth be told, I don't always respond that way--even to the people I love most.

So what can we do going forward to get our love (both giving and receiving) in better alignment with what we see here in 1 Corinthians 13? Tami W.

Wife Extraordinaire

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Proverbs 18:22; 31:10-12

As a woman, I love our verses in Proverbs today because wives are definitely spoken of and depicted in a favorable manner. But as Proverbs 31:10 points out, being an excellent wife...is a tall order. "An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels."

So ladies, let's hear from you about how we can work on becoming an excellent wife. And men, tell us some of the things about your spouse (or your observations about your mom as a wife) that make or made her an excellent wife. Tami W.

Joshua 4:1-9; Job 1:1-5

Two very different passages today, Joshua 4:1-9 and Job 1:1-5, yet each one gives us good insight and perspective on generational relationships and some of the responsibilities that go along with families and parenting. In Joshua 4:1-9 we see the example of setting up memorial stones for future generations, and in Job 1:1-5 the example is praying for children.

Now you're probably already praying for your kids and families, and that's something we can do every day and often. But what about setting up memorial stones? I'm guessing we're probably not as proactive in this area. So what might some modern day memorial stones be? And how do we put them in place? Tami W.

P.S. This week on the Back to the Bible radio we're continuing with the series called "What's Right with the Family?" If you haven't had a chance to join Dr. Kroll and me yet, please do!! And be sure and check out our God IS ... Family Devotional Cards for a fun and interactive way to teach your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, your Sunday school class about God.

Oh, the Benefits.

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Romans 8:12-17

Romans 8: 1-17 is all about life in the Spirit. These verses really lay out for us the change that happens when we accept Christ as Savior and commit to following Him. It's full of detail (which I love) and it's such an incredible and encouraging read.

So based on Romans 8:1-17 what are some of the benefits of living "according to the Spirit" or "by the Spirit"? What do those benefits mean for you as you live the Christian life today? Tami W.

Teach and Train

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Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 6:1-9

My parents were diligent about making sure our family was in church and that I was at Awana and youth group as I got older. I learned a lot about God and His statutes and rules at church. But as I look back, I learned even more at home through my parents' example. Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us straight up to teach God's statutes and rules diligently to our children.

So what are some different ways to do that? How did your parents teach and train you? What are you doing with your children or grandchildren? And for those of us who aren't parents, what can we do to help with training up and teaching children and youth? Tami W.

Soul Desire

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Psalm 84:1-12

Our entire reading today, Psalm 84, talks about that desire to be in the presence, in the dwelling place, of the Lord. "How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the court of the Lord" (vs. 1 & 2).

So what can we learn from this Psalm about being in God's presence? How can we draw on the words of the psalmist to encourage and give us hope today? Tami W.

Absolute Reliance

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Psalm 83:1-18

Psalm 83 is a crying out to God for action and justice. The psalmist, Asaph, lays out all the evidence, the offenses against God, of the surrounding nations and peoples. Then he boldly asks God, in a variety of ways, to intervene and handle the situation. Now I applaud Asaph's example here because so many times our initial response is to try and deal with wrongdoing or problems ourselves. Not the case here.

So how do we get to the point where we turn our difficulties and problems over to God no matter what? What's it going to take for us to absolutely trust that He will handle it? Tami W.

Fruitful

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Psalm 1:1-6

The visual of a tree bearing fruit was really vivid for me as I read Psalm 1 today. I found myself thinking If that healthy tree loaded with ripe fruit represents my Christian life and walk, how am I going to accomplish that?

So what are your thoughts on being a fruitful tree? What steps will this require? And what exactly is the fruit on your tree--helping others, teaching Sunday School, singing, more people knowing Christ, leading a small group? Think about it and then let's talk! Tami W.

To Not Forget

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Deuteronomy 8:11-20; Luke 15:8-10

Definitely a clear message today from Deuteronomy 8:11-20--don't forget the Lord and His commandments and rules. Well, if I'm just thinking about myself, some things I would do to "not forget" would be staying in the Word, attending church, seeking friendships with other believers, things like that. But when you think about it, we have a responsibility to help others "not forget" and keep God's commands as well.

So how can we accomplish this within our families? What might helping others "not forget" look like--Parent to child? Sibling to sibling? Child to parent? Cousin to cousin? Aunt or uncle to niece or nephew? Tami W.

Family Ties

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Mark 1:29-31; Ruth 1:1-18

We get a look at two different families today--they lived at different times, they had different problems and circumstances. Yet, each situation gives us insight into the way families operate.

So what do these passages show us about the importance of the family as a support system? What about our individual relationships and responsibilities to both immediate and extended family members? 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 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2010 is the previous archive.

January 2011 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.