To Be...Complementing Your Basic Faith

Three little feet fighting for a foot massage!
May 25
There's no grass growing around these little feet when I visit.  They are Johnny on the spot...the spot being Mama Boo's lap longing for a foot massage!

When we are young we want so desperately to grow up.  I was texting with a neighborhood boy the other day and the topic of some of our grandsons being around for the summer came up.  I asked this young man if he liked to baby sit.  He said, "You know I'm only twelve, right?  But I will be thirteen soon!"  He's probably counting the days until he can get a boating license and a driver's license.

Are we eager to grow up in our faith?  Peter is challenging believers to be disciplined in their faith.  

Peter says...

"So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.  With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.  Without these qualities you can't see what's right before your, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books." 2 Peter 1:5-8  

I've read this three times.  So much to nibble on.  I think this is worth a week of study this summer!
Build on what you've been given.
Complement your basic faith with...
Good character
Spiritual understanding
Alert discipline
Passionate patience
Reverent wonder
Warm Friendliness
Generous Love
And then, no day will pass without it's reward as you mature in your experience  of Jesus!

My question today is..."Are we surrounding ourselves with Peter personalities?  
Do we have friends who talk to us about our faith in this way?
If we don't, we need to get some of these people plugged into our lives.

To Be...Ignited

Camping "in" with a battery operated camp fire.

May 24
So, I've been hanging out in Nehemiah's book recently.  A side note in my Bible says, "God ignites a spark of revival in his servant Nehemiah. Nehemiah stokes the fire with prayer and a willing heart. Then God's power works through this caring and capable man to spread the revival fire over 500 miles to Jerusalem."

That excites me!  I want to be part of something like that!

Nehemiah cries out to God,  "O Lord, God of heaven, and great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel."  Nehemiah 1:5-6

Let's take this a part...
Nehemiah acknowledges who God is and what he does. Also, how He loves and who He loves.
Then he clarifies who he is...a servant...and who he is praying for...more servants...God's people.

Do we ever initial a conversation like that with God?  Take it to the Lord in prayer!

To Be...Set Free

Our grands captured this snapping turtle in their backyard...
he set himself free!

May 23
We had a long discussion about taking critters captive.  Especially ones that can scratch and BITE!

Jesus explains to us that his purpose in coming was to set us from the sins that bind us.

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free."  Luke 4:18

Paul puts purpose to our freedom in Christ.  We have to constantly's not about us.

"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love."  Galatians 5:13

To Be...Rebuilding

The fort that kept on being built!

A camp in with disco lights at the next baby sitting gig! Hat's off to tent and fort building.

May 22
While staying with some of the grands recently, we popped up a turtle tent they found in their storage room. As the week progressed they kept finding more and more additions! Boxes, card tables, pop up tunnels...if it could be crawled into we attached it.  Never has a fort had so many rooms!  Occasionally someone would come through and terrorize a sectipon and it would have to be rebuilt.

The same scenario went on with their Lego and Duplo creations.  Devastated at first to find something torn apart; usually there was enough gumption to give it a go again.

Nehemiah needed more than gumption. He needed God's grace and miraculous provisions to rebuild the wall of his beloved Jerusalem.  God cleared the path and used Nehemiah's tender heart and his qualities of being a wise leader, people motivator and team builder to get the job done.

Nehemiah faced enemies of endurance. I've been right there with him lately trying to "rebuild" Shiloh for her summer ministries.  Physical weariness, emotional frustration, mental discouragement and fear from financial threats cause discouragement.  Nehemiah's advice to the builders was "Protect your weak areas and pick up your weapons.  Remember that your God is great and awesome. Be vigilant in your own work...And when the enemy attacks (for he will) stand together and be assured that God will fight for you. Nehemiah 4:13-15; 19-20

Well, that's a pep talk worthy of posting on your bathroom mirror!!  Can't wait to tell this story to the grands!

To Be...Forever

Peonies make me happy!
I was overjoyed when this little one made it home from the hospital
and am FOREVER grateful for all the prayers.

May 21
Baby sitting this weekend, our granddaughter asked me how long I could stay. When I said I was sorry, but I had to leave Sunday she said, "That's okay because with Jesus in our hearts we are going to be together FOREVER! I know I will see you again. Also, I'm coming to spend two weeks at the lake with you this summer!"  Oh, the joy and confidence eternity because of Jesus brings!
Aretha Franklin’s  song “I Say A Little Prayer,” makes me want to get up and dance.
The chorus goes like this:
Forever, forever, you’ll stay in my heart And I will love you Forever and ever, we never will part Oh, how I’ll love you Together, together, that’s how it must be To live without you Would only be a heartbreak for me.  
Don't we all long for a forever love?  
God offers that to us!  God remains faithful forever extending to us a deep abiding love.  
When we sing praise to the Lord, we are loving him back!
There was a children's praise song that we taught our children years ago that went like this...
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, praise ye the Lord, Alleluia!  
Let's take Psalm 146 and sing verses 1,2, 6, and 10 in praise to our Forever God!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God as long as I live....The Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. He is faithful forever. The Lord will rule forever.

"Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes, in a son of a man, who cannot save us. When his spirit leaves, he returns to the earth. His thoughts end on that day. Happy is he whose help is the God of Jacob, and whose hope is in the Lord his God. The Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. He is faithful forever. He helps those who have a bad power over them. He gives food to the hungry. And He sets those in prison free.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord raises up those who are brought down. The Lord loves those who are right and good. The Lord keeps the strangers safe. He takes care of the children who have no father and the woman whose husband has died. But He destroys the way of the sinful. The Lord will rule forever. Your God, O Zion, will rule over all people for all time. Praise the Lord!"  Psalm 146:1-10

To Be...For God

May 19-20
Who are you for?  It's fun to hear those words come out of our grandchildren's mouths when a sporting event is television.  At their nine and under ages, I find the uniforms to be the most influential aspect of their choices.  They are learning to make choices though and that's a vital life lesson.

Mark Batterson writes in his book, Draw the Circle: "When Christianity turns into a noun, it becomes a turnoff.  Christianity was always intended to be a verb-more specifically, an action verb.  The title of the book of Acts says it all, doesn't it? It's not the book of Ideas or Words.  It's the book of Acts...we should be known for what we're for than what we're against. Prayer that doesn't lead to action isn't try prayer; it's self-talk."

Do our actions match our Sunday pew sitting?
People may know we are a fan of a breed of animal, of a certain university or sport, of a particular form of exercise, but do they know we are unashamed of the gospel.  Do our life actions reflect a moral code which correlates to the life of Christ?

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters..."
Colossians 3:23

To Be...An Art Form

May 18
We have some majorly creative grandchildren. Our daughter has come up with a great way
to display her sons' artwork. (See above.) Curtain rods with clips!  I added Spider Man for fun!

God is The Creator!  The one who makes masterpieces!  We are each a personalized art form!

"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

"Maybe you and I struggle to see God's great workmanship in our lives because we forget our purpose.  We weren't created masterfully so that we might shine brighter than others, look more beautiful in the latest fashions, or make a name for ourselves. We were lovingly created in Christ Jesus for good works designed by God, just for us.
You are beautiful.  You are unique and treasured, and He's not even through with you yet!  You are an expression that flows from what is most valuable to the Creator, God Himself.  Created to beautifully declare the most significant story our Savior has to tell.  You are nothing short of a poiema (masterpiece) today."  Ruth Chou Simons

May you each be a glorious art show to the world wherever you go today!  May we look at others we see as a masterpiece and appreciate God's work and design!