If you have ever been to a private Christian school, then you know that memorizing Scripture verses is usually a requirement. This is especially true for elementary students. I remember that we had to memorize at least one verse a week until about 6th grade! Oh how I dreaded that and didn’t really see the need for it at the time. I can still recite the ones that I committed to memory years ago. (“Quench not the Spirit. -1 Thes. 5:19…of which I can even remember the song!) What’s even funnier is that I can still remember some of the Spanish ones from high school as well, but, unfortunately, what’s sad is that I can barely remember what it is in English though! (“Y la lengua es un fuego, un mundo de maldad. –Santiago 3:6) Some help that is to me!
Somewhere between school and now, I have lost the motivation to memorize Scripture. It is not that I haven’t wanted to; I have just gotten lazy...or “too busy”. Since I am not “graded” on it anymore, it has not exactly moved up on my priority list. But it should be.
I cannot tell you how many times I have prayed with someone and gotten stuck on the “Oh, darn, what was that Scripture again?” Or how many times have you gotten into a debate with someone only to find out that they know your Bible better than you? Then there are the times when we are in a situation where we need to take God at His Word and we attempt to remind Him (or ourselves) of it, but somehow the Word eludes us. How can you take Him at His Word if you don’t know it?
Last night, I had a very vivid dream, more of a nightmare I guess. Crouched in a basement and hugging my kids tightly, a huge tornado was approaching. I could hear the rumbling; I could see the black funnel and I could sense great fear. Jeremy stood watch as I began to pray protection over the kids. I then started to quote Scripture as the tornado swirled in our midst. Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want…Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Your rod and staff, they comfort me.” But I couldn’t remember the rest, so I moved on to Psalm 91, “A thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee.” As I tried to find the words to the rest of the passage regarding His protection, I drew a blank and just went back to praying.
I woke up and gained a quick revelation. I need to learn Scripture! It’s easy for me to read something and remember it for a few days, maybe even a few weeks. Still, it always seems to get a little foggy or fade over time if I have not committed it to memory. I know from that dream that I do not ever want to be in a situation where that happens again. I want to be prepared and equipped to combat whatever comes my way. And whether it is threatening satan, reminding God of His promises or ministering to an individual, I realize that I need His Word branded in my heart and not as a passing thought or contemplation. You never know when you’re gonna need it! I guess I will chalk this up as an additional New Year’s resolution. Man, my list is getting long.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Did you know that the number 11 means “revelation”? Bring on 2011! I began my study yesterday morning researching a simple phrase that God dropped into my spirit after praying for someone that He laid on my heart. Know this: God doesn’t create anything second best. Everything that He creates is His best. This means that you and I are His best because it is simply impossible for Him to create anything less. We are GOOD.
Genesis 1:31 states, “God saw all that He had made, and it was good.” In that same book, it also says that God created us in His image. We were modeled after Him! God is excellent, so that makes us excellent. He is “the best” and in all of His supremacy said that we are good! It is the same principle in that God cannot lie because whatever he speaks instantly becomes truth. So, if He says that you’re good, it’s impossible for you not to be. But sometimes the problem comes in our own definition of good. If I am only good, does that mean that I am not the best?
I know personally that when I say something is good, I usually mean that it is average, OK, mediocre, satisfactory…good, but not necessarily the best. The great thing is that I am completely wrong!
The word “good” directly translates to “tov” in Hebrew which literally means “functional”! According to dictionary.com, functional means “to be capable of serving the purpose for which it was designed.” Now, re-read the scripture with the Hebrew context, and you will see it in a whole different light! Oddly enough, when I looked up the definition for “good”, it says that it is “of excellence, high quality, honorable or worthy, favorably regarded.” I thought only the “best” was excellent...at least that is what we have been programmed to think. The difference is that it is only in the English language that we assign levels of expectation to the word “good” in order to be grammatically correct. (Good, better, best) Everything was created with the same degree of “GOODness” because He chose not to compare one thing or person to another. So, if God doesn’t feel the need to compare, then why do we?
When God said that something was “good”, He meant that it was excellent and fully functional to fulfill the calling or purpose to which he assigned to it. So, when we feel second rate or just “good” in our own mind, think about what God says about good. There is no such thing as second best when it comes to God’s creation.
It is awesome to know that if God thinks we are (cap)ABLE, then all we have to do is be READY and WILLING! God is good, and He said YOU ARE, TOO! That’ll set you free right there! I know it revolutionized my way of thinking, that’s for sure!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Snow brings me to my happy place, and it is one of the very few times that I pause to relax. I love the calm, peacefulness of it all. Amidst the busyness of life, it makes you stop and gaze at the beauty of God's handiwork. I have always felt comfortable and at home with the golf course in my backyard, so imagine my delight when it was covered with snow!
The kids were having a blast "sledding" down the hills on our giant pizza pan. (Hey, when you live in Texas, you have to make do with what you can find!) We built a snow-woman and an igloo last year, but this time we decided to try our hands at SNOW CREAM!
Being lactose intolerant, I was finally glad to find a cold treat that I could actually enjoy! We went and gathered fresh, untouched snow and skimmed the top, so that we didn't have to worry about it touching grass or anything. With about 5-6 inches on the ground, we were able to get a pretty good amount. And with all the widespread snowstorms from here to the eastcoast, I thought I would post the recipe if you want to give it a whirl!
*8 Cups of Fresh Snow
*1 Cup of Milk
*1 Cup of Milk
*1/2 Cup of Sugar
*1 Packet of Mint Chocolate Cocoa Mix
*1 oz. of Bailey's (optional)
Mix it all together and serve immediately. You can substitute any flavor that you want. If you opt not to use the cocoa packet and use vanilla instead, then you may need to add more sugar.