What to Expect This Summer…

Hey all!

BSF is over and for many of us that means the accumulation of dust on our Bibles begins!

Hence, I’ve been brainstorming what I can do to keep you and me in the Word (short of a full-blown Bible study as I need a break too!).

Here’s what to expect:

I will continue my devotionals on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.  Like last year, these will be short and to the point, meant to be read and digested in a couple of minutes, leaving time for personal prayer and application on your life and circumstances.

My poetry contributor extraordinare, Lissette Trahan, has agreed to share short prayers with us that she has collected over many, many years.  These will appear on Tuesday and Thursday.  For those of you who struggle to know what to pray (I know I do!), I am praying these will give you a starting point!

Saturday will continue to be inspiring quotes on my heart at the moment.

Prayer requests will be on hiatus until the Fall but if you have something, please email it to me (atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com).  If I get enough response, I will post these once a month or so depending on volume.

Book reviews will appear as I get them done and when I find those worthy of recommending.

Finally, I am asking that you please pray about donating to my blog (the donation button is in the sidebar to the right).  I am only working part-time and would like to continue to do so in order to devote time to this forum, which I feel is an important endeavor and calling, and my other writings.  If you’ve been helped this year by my studies and if you’re led to give and are able, please consider doing so.  I would be eternally grateful.  If not, no worries!  I still love you all!!!

God bless, and I hope you have a fun, warm, and God-led summer!

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Last Prayer Requests for the Summer!!

Hey all!

This will be my last prayer request post for the summer so if something is on your heart either now or long term, please share!  Either post in the comment section below or email them to me at atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com

I’m wishing you a fun-filled summer and many blessings!

Prayer Requests for Week of April 22nd, 2018

Hey all!

As always, please leave your prayer requests in the comment section below or email them to me at atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com and I’ll get them up asap.

Prayer requests for my husband for advancement in his profession and for me to find a career.

Have a blessed and amazing week ahead!

Hope

HOPE

The greatest hope that Christ gives me
To live with Him eternally
Because He died I will arise
Jesus fulfilled that sacrifice

Hope, is having faith to believe
The Bible proved it all to me
It is all guaranteed and sealed
Someday it will be revealed

Without hope what would life be
Days when hope feels far away
That is where faith is what I see
It is hope that helps me pray

For who hopes for what he sees
Instead I wait patiently
I know the plans God has for me
A future of welfare, hope and peace

Today I have the Holy Spirit
A gift and taste of whats to be
A hope of what I will inherit
Adopted, I’ve become family

By:

Lissette Trahan

COMMENT ON HOPE

Without hope life loses its meaning
Hope is belief in God who can be trusted
to keep His promises.

It was hope that kept me seeking.

Wherever there is assurance of hope there is faith
I am saved by grace through hope.

Hope gives me the power to live courageously,
to be all that Christ has called me to be.

Hope gives me that sure certainty that what is
promised in His Word is true.

Hope, then faith which in turn produces peace.
When I have peace, I have joy.

The greatest joy is that I will live with Him eternally.
On that I have faith.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with
hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 29, Day 2: Isaiah 65:1-16

Summary of passage:  God revealed himself to those who did not seek Him and said, “Here am I.”  God has consistently through the ages held out His hands to His people who refused Him, who went their own way, who offered sacrifices to other gods, who sought help from the dead, who eats pork, and who told me to “keep away” because they believe themselves to be more holy.  Such people are smoke in God’s nostrils and He will pay back their sins.

God will not destroy them all.  He will bring forth His chosen people to inherit the land–those people who seek Him.  Those who forsake the Lord will be destined for the sword–those who did not listen, did not answer, and chose evil.

God’s servants will eat, drink, rejoice, sing out their joy, be given another name, and have their past troubles forgotten.  Those who disobey will go hungry, thirsty, be put to shame, cry out from anguish and brokenness, and their name will be a curse. Ultimately, they will be put to death.

Questions:

3a)  Isaiah beseeches God to come down and save them, His people in 63-64.  Yet God says He revealed Himself to those who did not ask for Him, the nation who did not call on His name (the Gentiles).  God tried to help His people by holding out His hands to an obstinate people who continued to follow their ways and not His.  So God looked elsewhere.

b)  God held out His hands but His obstinate people refused to take it, instead chose to go their own way.  His people continually provoked Him by worshipping other gods, sitting in cemeteries seeking help from the dead, eating pork in a ceremony to other gods when it is forbidden by God, and who tell God to keep away because they think they are too sacred for Him.

c)  People refuse to forgive themselves.  They think whatever they did is so egregious that God is not big enough to handle it. Shame and pride get in the way of God.  They refuse to accept God’s help when it is freely offered.  People think they know better and can do better.  They erroneously believe they don’t need God in this life.  People think they are not good enough for God.  That God is “too good” for them.  Also, people think they don’t deserve such a God (they are unworthy of such a God), which we don’t, but He loves us so much He makes us worthy.  I think people don’t understand who God is, what He wants for our lives, and how simple grace truly is.

4a)  65:2-7:  The Lord will judge the people fully for their actions.

65:8-10:  God will not destroy all His people; He will leave a remnant (those who serve and seek Him) and bless and restore them.

65:11-12:  All who forsake the Lord, who did not listen and did evil, shall die

b)  God’s servants shall eat, drink, rejoice, sing out of the joy of their hearts, be given another name, and have their past troubles forgotten and forgiven.  Those who refuse Him (you) shall go hungry, go thirsty, be put to shame, and cry out from anguish of the heart and brokenness of the spirit.  Your name will be a curse and you will be put to death.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The description of God’s servants.  I am seeking Him and He is faithful.  I eat, drink, rejoice, and sing out the joy of my heart.  I have been forgiven, which I readily receive, and am blessed beyond compare.  I accept God and Jesus and although I am far from perfect, I have the Holy Spirit within to guide me in my triumphs and failures.

Conclusions:  I love how Isaiah touches on the same themes: Life will end for the evil but I (God) will preserve a few.  There will be peace for all.  All will know about God.  I picture life in the future (at the end) as life was in the beginning in the Garden.

I liked how the first question brought in Lesson 28.  Some parts of Isaiah are so random you think it is out of order but this part ties in beautifully.

This is a great picture of hope in our time and of life to in the future.  There is something to look forward to even when today there may not seem like there is nothing because we are blinded by our circumstances.  But the fog will clear and hope does reign.

Age Old Lessons

“Her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much.  But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”  Luke 7:47

Jesus is explaining how the man who was forgiven a bigger debt ($500 to make it simple) loves more than the man who was only forgiven a small debt ($50).  He expands this to the sinful woman, who loves Jesus more because of her sins (she anoints him, washes his feet with her tears, and kisses his feet); whereas Simon did not of these things.  Therefore, he has less love.

I read this and thought of how I’ve been through a lot and all this year in Isaiah we’ve learned life is not hunky-dory and God gives us trials to grow us and force us to turn our faces towards Him.

I think this is true.  Those who have an easy life do take things for granted and don’t appreciate the good life when it’s there if they’ve never had a bad life.  Someone who has suffered would love more.  Someone who’s lost someone close to them–spouse, parents, child–would love more.  Would hold on tighter. Would look at each day as a gift and not just move callously through it.

I hope I have more love.  I don’t know.  I think I’ve walled off my heart so much I don’t see this love portrayed to others.  I’m trying though.  I recognize it and am trying to be better with those around me.  My instinct is to push others away instead of embrace them and I have to fight that tendency every day.  So I pray slowly it will happen–and love will shine through.

Excitement Regained

I spent a lot of yesterday editing my book and am quite enjoying it for once.  I am finding my mistakes are a lot more prevalent to my eye and I feel with each stroke of my keyboard it is only getting better.

This is what gives me hope.  I believe my destiny does have more for me in this world and this is the means God has given me to achieve it.  Admittedly, I feel happier–better–when my writing is progressing.  Otherwise, life quickly drags me under with the monotony of kid-life:  breakfast, school, errands, bills, diapers, doctor appointments, permission slips, parent/teacher conferences, homework, shuttle to soccer practices, dinner, bed time, and on and on and on…

So, here I am, typing again, molding my work before my eye, wondering all the while if this will be it, if the fourth time is the charm (this is my fourth book), if I am finally speaking what the world needs to hear.