November 2014 Archives

Storing Up

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:9-16

I smiled as I read Psalm 119:11 because it took me back to my Sunday school years--long, long ago. J "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." This familiar verse is one that is often used as a memory verse (it was for me) and also serves to convey the message that "storing up" or memorizing God's Word is important to keep us focused on God and, thus, something we should be doing.

So would you join me and commit to memorizing one verse together this week? I'd love to know if you're with me and how you're doing through the week. We can do this!
Here's our verse:

"I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word." Psalm 119:16


Tami

God's Word

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:1-8

Psalm 119 is one of my favorite Psalms because it's all about God's Word, and is filled with encouragement and instruction to take it in and live it out. This large chapter (176 verses) is divided into titled, 8 verse segments or stanzas so that's how we'll move through it, 8 verses at a time.

The first segment, Aleph, focuses on knowing and following God's law. Verse 6 was key for me. What a comfort to know that when I am diligent in keeping my eyes on God and living according to His Word, I will not be put to shame.

Was there a particular verse from Aleph that touched your heart today and why? Tami

Hand-in-Hand

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Today's reading: Proverbs 11:1-31

We see verse after verse laying out the benefits of living for God and the negatives of living for self. Having just celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, two verses stood out to me.

"A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself" (vs. 17).

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want" (vs. 24).

Being kind and giving freely to those in need go hand-in-hand. I love how these two verses not only encourage us to think and act rightly, but also let us know that when we model God's love to others, we benefit from it right along with the person(s) we're befriending or assisting.

When you've extended kindness to someone how did it impact you? I guarantee you that there are people that need help in your neighborhood and community. Will you look for, and then help, someone in need this weekend? Tami

Mouth Guide

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Today's reading: Proverbs 10:1-32

Proverbs 10 is full of instruction, but I couldn't help but observe the many statements about speech, both positive and negative, throughout the chapter. So, I went back and re-read the passage stopping at each place where lips, mouths or speech were mentioned. Here are some key things I noticed. We are told the same thing in verses 8 and 10, "a babbling fool will come to ruin." And in verse 14, "the mouth of a fool brings ruin near." Then we see these wise words in verse 19, "When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent."

As I considered these verses, social media and our inclination to freely spew whatever is on our mind--good, bad, smart, stupid, relevant or not--came to mind. Now I'm not bashing social media but cautioning us as users (and I use social media plenty). If we're going to use different forms of social media, then let's take note, and put into action, what we see in Proverbs 10 and other scriptures as good guides for what we're saying and putting out in front of others.

What are some ways you put Proverbs 10:19 into practice? I'd love to hear any thoughts you have on this wise, instructive verse. Tami

P.S. If you live in the U.S. have a Happy Thanksgiving! And if you live elsewhere, make today a designated day of thanks to God and have a wonderful day as well!

Wisdom Journey

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Today's reading: Proverbs 9:1-18

Once we make the decision to follow God, our experience and journey with wisdom begins. But it's not like we choose to follow and serve God and then this vast amount of wisdom is simply dumped in our lap. Gaining godly wisdom is an ongoing process, and we see that in verse 9 which talks about instruction, teaching and learning and then these words in verse 10, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom..."

Think back over your life since you've become a Christ-follower. Do you see growth in the area of godly wisdom? How and where are you getting direction, instruction and teaching? Tami

God's Plan

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Today's reading: Proverbs 8:1-36

Wisdom is one of several major themes found throughout Proverbs, and chapter 8 is all about wisdom. In this chapter we, once again, see a laying out of the benefits of possessing godly wisdom: truth and righteousness, and that godly wisdom is better than earthly possessions and great riches. But when we reach verses 22-31, we're given new, foundational information that I found helpful in that it got me thinking a little differently about the value of wisdom and trusting God and His plan.

What do verses 22-31 reveal about God and His plan? What about the value of godly wisdom? Tami

Powerful Pull

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Today's reading: Proverbs 7:1-27

We see yet another warning against sexual immorality in Proverbs 7:1-27. Throughout the chapter we are given a vivid picture of the slippery slope of temptation. Verses 22-22 are telling. "All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life."

As I read through Proverbs 7 I was a little surprised at how the examples and scenarios presented reminded me that sexual temptation is everywhere, and that being the case, we need to be mindful of places we go and hang out and situations we allow ourselves to be part of, and that even the time of day can influence how we respond to temptation.

So what cautions did you see in Proverbs 7? Tami

Today's reading: Psalm 118:17-29

As part of the psalmist's giving thanks, he recalls the "deeds of the Lord." Interestingly, those deeds include his being disciplined--severely. No one enjoys being disciplined. Yet as I look back, I can clearly see how God used discipline to teach and grow me spiritually. So even though the discipline was painful at the time, good came from it. So like the psalmist I can proclaim "You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!" (vs. 28-29).

Take a few minutes to recall how God has taught and grown you spiritually. Then follow the lead of the psalmist and tell God thank you for his steadfast love in all situations. Tami

Steadfast Forever

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Today's reading: Psalm 118:1-18

God is good and his steadfast love endures forever! And for that, the psalmist is giving thanks, calling others to do the same, and then telling us what he is thankful for and why.

So think back over the past couple of years or more. When and how have you experienced God's steadfast love? Would you share one of those experiences with us? Tami

Seven Definite No's

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Today's reading: Proverbs 6:12-19

There are certain actions and attitudes that God detests, and seven of them are spelled out for us in Proverbs 6:16-19:

  • Haughty (prideful, arrogant) eyes;
  • A lying mouth;
  • Hands that shed innocent blood;
  • A heart that devises wicked plans;
  • Feet that run quickly to evil;
  • A false witness;
  • A person who instigates discord.

What do these verses reveal about God and what He expects and desires from us as His children? Tami

Working Well

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Today's reading: Proverbs 6:1-11

We're told to consider the ways of the ant in Proverbs 6:6. So that's exactly what I did. I spent a few minutes thinking about how ants behave and the words that describe what I've observed of ants. Here's what I came up with. Ants are: active, diligent, task focused, tireless, persistent, motivated. As I looked at my list, it gave me a shot in the arm to make sure I'm behaving similarly. In other words, that I'm working well by applying myself fully and giving my best efforts in all the tasks God has set before me.

So did you join me in doing an ant assessment today? What was the result? I'd love to hear how thinking about ants impacted you spiritually. Tami

Pure Actions

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Today's reading: Proverbs 5:1-23; 6:20-35

Watch any television program, spend a few minutes online, read the magazines--everywhere we look we're being "sold" the message of complete sexual freedom--If it feels good, you should do it. Well God's Word says otherwise. So as I read through Proverbs 5:1-23 and 6:20-35, these passages felt like a breath of fresh air. It was good to see, in black and white in front of me, God's warnings and instruction about sexual purity in an environment where purity is often scoffed at and devalued.

So how can we proactively combat the message of the world? How important is it to talk to your children and grandchildren about sexual purity? How important is it to model sexual purity to those around us--at work, in our neighborhood, with our extended family? Tami

Avoid It!

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Today's reading: Proverbs 4:14-27

The idea of breaking the rules or doing something we know isn't right if we think we can get away with it, can be attractive and tempting to us. And that's especially true in our younger years (I'm speaking from experience). But flirting with wrongdoing and even taking one step in that direction is a dangerous, slippery slope. So it's no wonder we see the strong directive to not associate with evil, wicked people in Proverbs 4:13-17, followed closely by the positive instruction of verses 25-26 to keep our focus in the proper place as we move forward.

What do you do to keep your focus on God ("let your eyes look directly forward") every day? How do you respond when the temptation to do wrong crops up in front of you? Tami

P.S. With technology, we now have access to God's Word pretty much anywhere anytime. So if you're not currently using your cell phone or tablet to stay connected to God throughout the day, you should try it. One particularly good Bible App is goTandem. It's free, and if you don't have smart phone, there's also a web version (www.gotandem.com). So check it out and start receiving short messages from God's Word throughout your day!

She is Life

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Today's reading: Proverbs 4:1-13

The opening words of Proverbs 4 took me back to when I was a young girl and my parents were doing their best to teach and equip me with godly wisdom. At that young age, I didn't fully understand what they were telling me and I certainly didn't grasp how wise they were or the rich instruction they were passing on to me. But I do understand it now, and could see so much of what they told me in these verses:

Verse 6: she will keep you and guard you;
Verse 8: she will exalt and honor you if you embrace her;
Verse 9: she will place a garland and crown on your head;
Verse 12: you will not stumble;
Verse 13: she is your life.

Have you experienced the benefits noted in Proverbs 4:1-13 as a result of following God's wisdom? How are you teaching and displaying godly wisdom as a parent, grandparent, teacher, mentor, manager? Tami

One Command

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Today's reading: Psalm 117:1-2

Only two verses in Psalm 117 with one clear command--Praise the Lord! We hear and use the word praise all the time. So I decided to look up the word "praise" in the thesaurus so I could broaden my thinking and fully embrace Psalm 117. Here are a few of the words that I found: admiration, worship, thanks, commendation, honor, compliment, adoration, celebration.

So now that we are equipped with some descriptive praise words, let's put Psalm 117 into action. How will you "praise the Lord" (or have you praised the Lord) today at church, at home, as you go to bed this evening? Tami

Benefitting Servants

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Today's reading: Psalm 116:1-19

God's goodness, mercy, provision, protection and comfort were so evident to me as I identified with the psalmist and his song to God in Psalm 116. Verse 12 puts before us the pertinent question, "What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?" And then verses 16 and 17 aptly point out that we are servants of God and as such, we should be offering Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving and calling on His name.

So how would you describe being a servant of God and the benefits that come with that to someone who doesn't know Christ? What does living as God's servant look like in your day to day life? Tami

Thankful Wakeup Call

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Today's reading: Colossians 3:12-17

As we wrap up our week considering what living as a Christ-follower looks like, I was drawn to Colossians 3:1-17. Paul starts by encouraging us to focus on God and spiritual matters (vs. 1-4), moves on to instruct us to put to death our old way of thinking and acting (vs. 5-16), and then turns to a number of positive instructions in verses 12-17.

As I read this final section, three words hit me HARD--"And be thankful" (vs. 15). You see, I've been struggling the past week or so with some things in my life that aren't coming together the way I envisioned (in other words, according to my plan). And as a result, my attitude this week has been what I'd describe as grudgingly thankful. L So as I opened my Bible this morning searching for just the right passage to blog on, God brought me to Colossians 3 because it was exactly the wakeup call I needed. (Thank you, God!)

How did this passage impact you today? Where did God direct your attention as you read through these verses? Tami

Thinking Captive

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Today's reading: Philippians 4:8-9

This morning Philippians 4:8-9 came to mind as I was thinking about our goal this week of looking at passages that will give us direction on living for Christ. Paul, writing to Christ-followers in Philippi, is instructing these believers to be intentional about their thinking. Our minds are powerful, so when we're focused on God and His goodness instead of all kinds of "yuck," we are strengthened and equipped to deal with and respond properly to both the planned and unplanned things that take place in our day.

We choose what we allow to fill our minds. So what do you do (or can you do) to take your thoughts captive for God? If you have a key verse or two that you use to keep or refocus your thoughts on God would you share them? A couple of my favorites are Galatians 6:9-10 and Colossians 3:17. Tami

Positive Building

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Today's reading: Ephesians 4:17-32

Paul encourages us as followers of Christ to "put on the new self" (Eph. 4:23), and then presents a number of actions and behaviors describing what living for Christ should and should not look like. What I noticed as I read this passage was that quite a bit of Paul's instruction had to do with our words--speaking the truth, not slandering, not allowing corrupting talk come out of our mouths but instead, using our words positively to build others up.

For the remainder of this week, let's make it our goal to build others up with our words, and let's be intentional about it. So think about your daily routine. Who can you build up with positive words this week--at work, at home, at church? What about when you're out at the gas station, buying groceries, at the hardware store? Tami

Supernatural Response

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Today's reading: Romans 12:14-21

When I've been hurt or wronged by someone, I want the situation righted. My first thoughts are typically focused on wanting justice--immediately--because in my mind, that's what I deserve. Well, that line of thinking is contrary to what we're told in God's Word. Instead of seeking justice for ourselves through retaliation or revenge, we are to bless our persecutors and not repay evil for evil. That can be a tall order to put into action, particularly when the wrong done and the hurt that goes along with it are fresh in our minds.

What I've discovered over the years is that I absolutely must turn to God and ask Him to give me the strength to respond properly. It's still challenging, but the moment I choose to let go and give my hurts to God, it is freeing because instead of being consumed with negative, sinful thoughts, my focus is where it needs to be--on God and living rightly for Him.

What's your experience been when you've responded with kindness rather than retaliation? How has God grown you spiritually through dealing with difficult people? Tami

Living for Christ

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Today's reading: Romans 12:9-13

Since we've been in Proverbs for two weeks now, this week we're taking a short break and looking at a variety of scripture passages on being a Christ-follower. Romans 12:9-21 is filled with direction and instructions from Paul on what our lives should look like as we follow Christ. Since this is such a rich passage, I choose to focus on just verses 9-13 today. Then tomorrow, we'll look at verses 14-21.

Every single one of the instructions in verses 9-13 were encouraging, but "outdo one another in showing honor" spoke a little louder to me than the others this morning. I came away from my reading thinking about how I can be more intentional (today and this week) about building other people up with my words and actions, and also be intentional when it comes to putting other's interests before my own.

What did God impress on your heart from these verses today? What's your response plan for the week? Tami

Loving and Living

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Today's reading: Psalm 115:1-18

I was thankful for the reminder from Psalm 115 that we serve a loving and living God who desires for us to be in relationship with Him. I was particularly impacted by verses 4-8 and the stark contrast between the idols and gods we create for ourselves and God.

The psalmist issues a call to action to trust in the Lord and to praise Him forever. Does that describe the state of your current relationship with God? Going forward, how will you sustain and grow your trust in God? How might you be even bolder with your praise? Tami

R & R

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Today's reading: Psalm 114:1-8

In Psalm 114, the psalmist is looking back, remembering and recognizing (R & R) God and what He had done for Israel. This song, as a whole, gives us a wonderful picture of God's power and goodness.

Is it your practice to look back and remember God's guidance and provision in your life? How does this picture of God's goodness comfort you? Tami

Power Management

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Today's reading: Proverbs 3:27-35

Power and how we choose to handle the power we have is the point that stood out to me from these final verses of Proverbs 3 today. Verse 27, where we're told not to withhold good when it's within our power, was the primary message that spoke to my heart.

It feels good to have power. But we need to be careful when it comes to our handling the power we have or are given. It can be intoxicating, and it's easy to misuse. So the six "do not" statements set out in verses 27-31 are good ones to help keep us on track, handling the power we have rightly.

What's one example of how you have been intentional about doing good to or for someone this week? What impact does being in God's Word have on your "doing good" (i.e. thinking, acts, words)? Tami

By Wisdom

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Today's reading: Proverbs 3:19-26

As I read Proverbs 3:19-26 a number of words came to mind regarding God's wisdom. Here are a few that I wrote down: powerful, foundational, security, protection, steadying.

As you took in these verses, what words about God's wisdom came to your mind? Do you consider God's wisdom "life for your soul"? And if so, why? Tami

Desireable Treasure

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Today's reading: Proverbs 3:13-18

I love the splendor and magnificence of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, amethysts and sapphires. So the depiction of God's wisdom as being more precious than jewels absolutely resonated with me and got me thinking more "richly" about godly wisdom.

Based on today's verses, how valuable is it to possess godly wisdom? What are some benefits you've experienced as a result of having God's wisdom? Tami

Act of Love

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Today's reading: Proverbs 3:11-12

I have a tendency to focus on verse 11 (the discipline portion) of this passage, and did start there today as I prepared to write. But the words and message of verse 12 kept tugging at my heart--specifically the final phrase, "as a father the son in whom he delights." Even though I've read this passage numerous times before, I really hadn't stopped to fully consider how much God absolutely loves and delights in me as one of His children. When I returned to read the passage in its entirety again, having this fuller understanding of God's love for me then helped me to have an even better understanding of God's discipline.

So how did Proverbs 3:11-12 speak to your heart today? What impact has experiencing God's discipline had on your spiritual growth? Tami

Honoring Acts

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Today's reading: Proverbs 3:9-10

The instruction we see in Proverbs 3:9 is to honor God with our wealth and with the firstfruits of our produce.

So think about what "your produce" is, listing a few things out. What are some ways you honor God with what He has provided for you? Tami

Praise the Lord!!

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Today's Reading: Psalm 113

Praise the Lord is the big call to action in Psalm 113. The psalmist takes the first three verses giving us that call and then spends the final six verses of the passage giving us reasons for our praise.

Consider the statement below and fill in the blank with something specific to your life. I praise the Lord because _______________.

Here are a couple of my praise items:
1) I praise the Lord because He loves me even in those times I don't act very loving to Him.
2) I praise the Lord because He has allowed me to use my love of people and His Word to encourage women to draw closer to Him as I speak at churches and conferences.

Tami

Righteous

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Today's Reading: Psalm 112

After reading Psalm 112 there's no doubt that our goal should be to live as a righteous person, and we're given quite a bit of information on what that means and looks like. Now right in the middle of all this information and instruction are these awesome words, "For the righteous will never be moved ... He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord" (vs. 6-7). I say, "Amen to that!"

So how do you line up with the description of a righteous person as it is here in Psalm 112? Are there areas that need a little improvement, and if so, how will you go about doing that? Tami

P.S I'm speaking at the Real Women SOAR Conference in Milford, PA, today alongside a bunch of other amazing ladies. Please pray for the women attending the conference and for all the speakers that we would be encouraged spiritually and draw closer to God as we open up and take in His Word.

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 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

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