Tami W: June 2013 Archives

Cheer My Soul

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Psalm 94:12-23

I appreciate how Psalm 94:12-23 openly recognizes that the Christian life is not a cake walk. Life is....life, and it can be tough. But as a follower of Christ, our circumstances don't have to dictate our lives because God is in control and He is our helper and our consoler. That means that we can have joy regardless of what's going on in, and around, our lives. "When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul" (vs. 19).

Think about how the Lord has helped and consoled you in the past and take a moment to thank Him. Then, let's consider this: how do we make sure we're fully relying on God as the controller of all things, and also leaning on Him to be our helper, comforter and consoler? Tami

No Secrets

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Psalm 94:1-11

Have you ever noticed how when life's not going our way, many times we have this tendency to focus, more than usual, on us and our circumstances? We seem to zero in on how we've been wronged or hurt and we want whatever our situation is to get taken care of. That's kind of the feel I got from the psalmist as he starts out in Psalm 94...but as he lets off some steam, his attitude and mindset change. And by the time we get to verse 8 the focus shifts. The psalmist is now looking at and directing our attention toward God, reminding us of His greatness, control and sovereignty. I love these words, "He who teaches man knowledge--the Lord--knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath" (vs.10-11).

So what do verses 8-11 tell us about God? How can we draw on and use these verses the next time we're in a tough situation? Tami

Luke 15:11-32

As I read the parable of the prodigal son once again today, I was struck by the joy surrounding the father forgiving his wayward son and the son seeking forgiveness from his father. It's pretty amazing how such a hurtful situation could result in full restoration of the damaged relationship and in such great joy.

What does this parable show you about the power of forgiveness? How have you experienced restoration and joy when you've forgiven someone or been forgiven? Tami

Mark 11:24-25; Matthew 5:43-48

It doesn't come naturally. Jesus tells us to "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44.) Have you ever tried to put this verse into practice?

Quite a few years and jobs ago I worked with a person who didn't particularly like me. As time went on it really started to bug me and I found myself not liking this person much. Then my pastor preached on Matthew 5, and I decided to give it a try with this person. Now I have to be honest, I wasn't overjoyed or excited to do this and I wasn't even sure how or what to pray for. But I ended up praying for this person's marriage and family, for our working relationship and that I could somehow be a godly example. Now I was expecting something to happen and it sure did. Just not quite like I thought. God showed me that I needed a heart adjustment where this person was concerned. (I love how God works.)

So in addition to getting our own hearts and attitudes in order, what are some other benefits of praying for and forgiving someone who we consider an adversary?

P.S. If you have any examples or experiences in this area, we'd love to hear about them.

Matthew 5:21-26; 18:15-20

When we hurt or wrong someone, we need to take action and seek the offended person's forgiveness. So what about when someone wrongs us? Well, even in those situations God expects us to take an active part in trying to resolve the problem and restore the damaged relationship.

In the past, how have you viewed and handled forgiveness? What do you find more difficult, asking for forgiveness or confronting someone who has wronged you, and why? What was the most helpful thing you learned about forgiveness from our passages in Matthew? Tami

P.S. Since it's summer, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of how I've been spending quite a bit of my time. I absolutely love gardening and being outside in God's creation, so I've posted a few pictures of my gardens on Facebook for you to enjoy.

P.S. Since it's summer, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of how I've been spending quite a bit of my time. I absolutely love gardening and being outside in God's creation, so I've posted a few pictures of my gardens on Facebook for you to enjoy.

Two Faces

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Ephesians 4:17-32

There are two sides to forgiveness. We're either the recipient of forgiveness or we can be the grantor of it. Both are absolutely necessary if we want to navigate life in a godly manner, and both can be quite difficult. Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us:

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."

Pretty clear that God expects us to mend relationships and make things right from both sides.

Why is forgiveness so important? What are some benefits you've experienced when you've either granted or received forgiveness from someone else? Tami


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Matthew 6:5-15

This week we'll be reading a variety of Scripture passages that deal with the topic of forgiveness to go along with the teaching on the Back to the Bible program. We're starting with Matthew 6:5-15, which is where we find the Lord's Prayer. If you're like me, you've probably read, sang or recited this prayer a hundred or more times. But have you ever focused on Jesus' specific words about forgiveness in this prayer? Regardless of your answer, let's do that today.

So what do Jesus' words in verse 12 show you about forgiveness? Is there anything about this verse that strikes you in a new way today? Tami

P.S. This is an important week for Back to the Bible as we close out our fiscal year-end fund drive. This ministry exists because of support from people like you. And today we have a special opportunity--a one-day only match of $7,700 that will double the impact of whatever you give. In other words, any contribution you make today will be matched dollar for dollar up to $7,700 until these funds are gone. Click here to give. Thanks in advance for your generous gift of any amount.

VERY Trustworthy

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Psalm 93

These words of Psalm 93:5 hit me front and center today. "Your decrees are very trustworthy." They summed up what I was already thinking which was...if the world is established and shall never be moved, and the Lord's throne is established from of old and He is from everlasting...then how could I not trust Him fully with the details of my life? Now I was thinking this because I am a control freak and it is a struggle for me to let go and turn things over--completely--to God. This is foolish behavior on my part and I know that, so being reminded of the Lord's trustworthiness, His sovereignty and control, were just what I needed today.

So how did Psalm 93 speak to you? How might you use it to help you this week? Tami

Thank You

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Psalm 92

I love the opening verses of Psalm 92. "It is good to give thanks to the Lord...For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work..." I have to say AMEN to that! Now I try, everyday, to make sure I give thanks to the Lord. Even so, I know I could do better.

So would you join me in a little exercise? Take a couple of minutes and think about what you're thankful for today--and I mean everything--not just the big things. Then, complete this statement.

I love you Lord. Thank you for ___________________________.

I'll start us off with a few of mine. I'll start us off with a few of mine. I love you Lord. Thank you for: my loving husband, my church and pastor, for the beautiful flowers blooming in my gardens outside and reminding me of you and your goodness, and making it possible for me to lead worship and sing to you every Sunday. Tami

Seize the Power

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James 5:13-18

Prayer is a powerful tool, available to us at any time, for any situation. But sometimes, I forget that. I get wrapped up in whatever my situation is to the point that I don't take advantage of this powerful gift from God. So I was thankful for how James hit prayer so boldly in James 5:13-18, and especially these words from verse 16 "The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."

How have you experienced the power of prayer in your own life? How have you seen prayer work in the life (or lives) of someone else? What are you dealing with today that you haven't yet offered to the Lord in prayer? Tami

Money Challenges

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James 5:1-9

All of us have money (some more than others) and we all need money to live and function. Money is just part of ordinary life. So why is having money such a problem? Or is it? If we take a good look at what James is telling us, money itself isn't a problem, but it can become a big problem when we take our eyes off of God and make our focus having money and earthly wealth.

What cautions or warnings did you see from James about money? How are you, as James instructs in verse 9, "establishing your heart for the coming of the Lord"? Tami

Two Way Street

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two-way street sign

James 4:4-10

Our passage from James today was packed full of things we could talk about and consider. But the thing that stood out most to me was how our relationship with God is truly active, not just from God's side, but ours as well. Notice all the action verbs James uses as he describes our part in this relationship--submit, resist, draw near, cleanse, purify, humble. And all this action isn't just a one-time thing. It's ongoing, especially when it comes to submitting and drawing close to God and resisting the devil.

So would you describe your relationship with God as interactive? How are you actively connecting with, and living for, Him? Tami

No Difference

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James 1:9-11; 2:1-11

A person's financial status is of no importance to God. Rich, poor, fancy clothes, plain clothes--God loves us all the same and He expects us, as followers of Christ, to do the same. James spells that out pretty clearly in James 2:1-11, even reminding us that we need to love our neighbors as ourselves. Sounds simple enough, but keeping partiality and bias out of our thinking and actions can be difficult. In fact, sometimes I make judgments before I even realize it.

So what can we do to combat partiality and bias in our thinking and actions, particularly when it concerns someone's financial status? And when we do make a judgment about someone (sometimes before we even realize it), what do we do then?

James 3:15-18

James gives us a comparison of godly wisdom and earthly wisdom in James 3:15-18, and there is a marked difference. I read this passage a number of times, and each time I was drawn to the second half of verse 13. It really got me thinking about wisdom. "By his good conduct let him [the wise person] show his works in the meekness of wisdom."

So what does the phrase "meekness of wisdom" mean for you? Think back over the past couple of weeks. How have you lived out or demonstrated godly wisdom? Tami

Happy Father's Day

Matthew 6:23-33

With today being Father's Day, I thought it would be nice for us to share something we're thankful for pertaining to our fathers. Now before I turn to my earthly father, I first want to recognize and thank my heavenly Father for who He is and how He has taken care of and provided for me. So, thank you, God!

My dad has been gone now for almost 14 years. And even though I can't talk with him any longer, I am thankful for what he taught me about loving others. My dad was very open about his love for me, my mom and my siblings. He would tell us "I love you" frequently. But the biggest lesson about love came from just watching him. My dad truly backed up his loving words with his attitude and actions--helping anyone he saw who was in need, working long hours to provide for the family, standing by one of us kids even when we did something stupid. And even when he disciplined me, I knew he was doing it out of love. So I'm thankful for the love lessons I learned from my dad.

Ok, now it's your turn. First take a minute to thank God for being your heavenly Father. Then tell us something you're thankful for when it comes to your father (whether that's your biological father, a step-father, a foster father or a man who was a mentor or role model for you growing up). Tami

Precious Time

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Psalm 90

Time flies, doesn't it! Especially in the summer when we're enjoying vacations and time with family. Well, speaking of time, did you notice how often time is referenced and mentioned in Psalm 90? It's pretty much everywhere:

  • Verse 1--God has "been our dwelling place in all generations."
  • Verse 2--God is "from everlasting to everlasting."
  • Verse 4--"for a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night."
  • Verse 10--"The years of our life are seventy; or even by reason of strength eighty...they are soon gone, and we fly away."

But the verse that really grabbed me was verse 12, "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."

Take another read through Psalm 90. What do these words tell us about the time we have here on earth? What might putting verse 12 into action look like for us? Tami


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James 3:6-12

James doesn't hold back one bit when he talks to us about our tongues. Yes, what he says is hard to read, but it's absolutely true and I wouldn't want anything less.

So what insight or warnings did you get from James 3:1-12? Was there a particular example or verse that spoke to you? And if so, why and how? Tami

James 3:1-5

Have you ever stopped to take note of just how powerful your words can be? I have, and while I'd like to tell you that I only use my words to be helpful and build others up, there have been plenty of times when I've cut someone down to the quick and caused hurt with my words. That's why it's so important for each of us to take control of our tongue and be extra cautious about what we let come out of our mouth.

So how do you keep your tongue in check? How does being in God's Word help? Tami

Faith Then Works

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James 2:14-26

Once you place your faith in Jesus Christ, when you receive Him as your Savior, doing good and godly works should naturally follow. That's what James is explaining in James 2:14-26.

So what did you learn about works from James? Based on our passage, why is the pairing of faith plus works so important? Tami

Doing Some Work!

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James 1:21-25; 2:14-18

Yes! Bring it on. Preach it, James! was going through my mind as I read our two passages for today. You see, I'm a "doer" in lots of areas. I find it hard to simply sit around and not be doing something. So James' charge to put God's Word into action really resonated with me. Now there are tons of ways we can be doers of godly work--helping a neighbor with yard work, getting involved with Vacation Bible School, serving at a local Food Shelter, playing "taxi" for others as needed, sending a thank you note to your pastor or a card to encourage someone who's sick--the list could go on and on.

So take some time today and consider where you can do some godly work. Think about different things going on and who you know that might need some encouragement or help. Then, get to work! Also, let us know how you're going to "be a doer of the word" this week. Or, give us a boost by telling us about some work you're already doing. Tami

Clear Direction

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James 1:5-8

I love it when I open God's Word and what I read gives me straight forward, simple to understand instruction. So as I jumped into James this morning, I smiled because James gets right to the point, telling us that if we lack wisdom (and honestly, who doesn't?) we need to ask God who is generous in providing it. Thank you, God!

So, I totally understand what James is saying, yet there are still times I don't do this, and I'm guessing I'm not alone on this one. So what's going on when we don't ask God for His wisdom? Is it forgetfulness, a busyness issue, pride, control, what? Try and recall a specific past situation and do a little assessing. What do you need God's wisdom for today? Tami

P.S. Today on Back to the Bible we launch a two-week series on the Book of James. It's packed full of the practical, how-to-live-life kind of wisdom, so I encourage you to take a listen if you can.

Psalm 89:24-52

Today we turn to the second half of Psalm 89 by Ethan the Ezrahite. We looked at the first 26 verses yesterday and we saw much praising of the Lord. Today we're focusing on verses 24-52 and now we discover that Ethan the Ezrahite's situation is a tough one. And much of the second half of this Psalm is Ethan pouring out the concerns and troubles on his heart to the Lord. At one point he even says "Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David?" (vs. 49). So has Ethan changed his mind about God? No way. Psalm 89 ends with these telling words, "Blessed be the Lord forever! Amen and Amen."

So what can we learn from Ethan the Ezrahite? What does Psalm 89 show us about God and our communication with Him? Tami

Make it Known

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Psalm 89:1-26

Ethan the Ezrahite is the writer of Psalm 89 where we're reading both today and tomorrow. Ethan lets us know right up front his heart and message. "I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations" (vs. 1). And then, he goes on and he does exactly what he proclaims in verse 1. Now it's a given that our actions show Christ to those around us, but our words are also important. So l love how Ethan the Ezrahite specifically tells us that he will use his mouth to tell others about God and His faithfulness.

So how are you using your mouth to tell others about God's faithfulness? What opportunities do you have to speak to others at work, with your family, with friends, at the grocery store or wherever your day takes you? Tami

Daily Enemy

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1 Peter 5:8-9; Colossians 3:16

Satan loves it when he can pull us off track and cause us to lose the day spiritually. Well the best way I know to keep that from happening is to make sure I'm in God's Word (preferably first thing in the morning) combined with talking with God throughout my day.

So how mindful are you of Satan trying to pull you off track? What do you do to win your day spiritually? Tami

Rein It In

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Proverbs 29:20; 18:8; 6:16

Have you ever noticed how easily your words can get you into trouble? Yeah...we've all been there.

One of the quickest ways for me and you to get off track spiritually is to not take control of our tongues. When we're not careful to regulate what comes out of our mouths--when we speak quickly, freely and often--it can lead us right down the path to losing that day spiritually. And even worse, if it's our habit or we're unable to control our tongue, it can seriously hinder our long term spiritual growth, and negatively impact the spiritual growth of others around us.

Proverbs 10:20 says "The tongue of the righteous is choice silver." So if Proverbs 10:20 is our goal, how do we get there? Tami

Watch that Walk

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Ephesians 5:1-16; Galatians 5:16-26

Two passages today and each one is fairly detailed about what our walk as a follower of Christ should look like. Ephesians 5 instructs us to walk in love (vs. 1), to walk as children of light (vs. 8) and to look carefully how we walk (vs. 15). And our passage from Galatians 5 focuses on walking by the Spirit.

So what did you learn from these two passages about our walks as Christ-followers? How would you say your walk reflects or demonstrates Christ? Tami

Actively Right

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Romans 12:9-21

If we want to win our day spiritually, we have to be careful about what we do. One way to accomplish this is to be intentional and active in making sure we're doing right things, and we see some of those right things throughout Romans 12:9-21. Did you notice all the active commands? Outdo one another in showing honor, serve the Lord, be constant in prayer, contribute to the needs of the saints. And those are just a few instructions from the passage.

So what's your approach? Are you active and intentional about doing right things? How about sharing an example from the last week or two? Tami

Winning Ways

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Psalm 1

If we want to win our day spiritually, there are things we should do and things we shouldn't, and Psalm 1 provides us with some instruction about both. Right off we see some don'ts--we shouldn't be seeking advice or making it our habit to hang out with people who don't follow the Lord. Then the do's--delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it day and night.

So how do you "delight" in the law of the Lord? What are some ways to keep God's Word front and center throughout your days and nights? Tami

P.S. This week on Back to the Bible radio our focus is on Wining the Day Spiritually. I hope you can join us for this series because it's full of practical advice to help each of us live victoriously for Christ every day.

Crying Out

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Psalm 88

Psalm 88 is not a "feel good" psalm for me. The author is distressed and hurting and when we get to the final verse, he's still there. Now if you're like me, you want (maybe even expect?) to see things righted by the time we get to the end of the chapter, kind of like how we like movies to have a happy ending. But Psalm 88 isn't a movie. It's real life, and as we know, hard circumstances take time to work through.

So what does Psalm 88 show us about communicating with God in and through tough times--when we are hurting, afraid, discouraged, feeling hopeless? Tami

Special City

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Psalm 87

One message came through loud and clear from Psalm 87--Jerusalem or Zion is special in the eyes of God. And what's special to God should be important to me as well.

So what can we learn about Jerusalem from Psalm 87? How can we use or draw on Psalm 87 when we get to other passages that talk about or take place in or around Jerusalem? Tami

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 below to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Tami W in June 2013.

Tami W: May 2013 is the previous archive.

Tami W: July 2013 is the next archive.

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