Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Study in School Books

It seems as though each day has a different set of books or writing project associated with it.  I wrote book evaluations of The Star-Spangled Banner by Peter Spier and A Polar Bear Journey by Debbie S. Miller on Monday.
Tuesday saw me writing a book evaluation about Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail and a discussion post about Emma by Jane Austen. 

I took the day off from school on Wednesday to enjoy a visit from my grandmother -- hence the black picture! We had a great time!

I wrote an essay about alphabet books on Thursday.  I also wrote several responses on the Emma discussion board while listening to Christmas music.  Yes, I know it is only October.  I started the Christmas songs back in September, or was it still August?

 I wrote my last book evaluation for the module on Wanted: Best Friend by A. M. Monson.

I submitted my assignments for the module and checked out a lot of new books from my library in preparation for the next.  I am sure to need more, however!  You can also see from the photo that I am making sure I have my Sunday School book ready (I help in the third and fourth grade class).

Week 6, here I come!

One Thing: Everlasting Love

"But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments."
Psalm 103:17-18

I had a difficult time choosing One Thing from my Bible reading today.  We are in Lamentations, Hebrews, Psalms, and Proverbs, and there is so much!  Psalm 103, however, really ministered to me today -- especially verses 1-5.  Let me share:

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

One Thing! Glorify God, and trust His everlasting love.  He forgives, heals, and restores.  Praise God!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

One Thing: Do Not Fear!

"You came near when I called on you;
you said, 'Do not fear!'"
Lamentations 3:57

It is easy to look ahead at the dark unknown and have fear.  Right now, there is a countdown in my own life.  According to my fiancĂ© Zachary's blog, our wedding is in 223 days.  I am so excited about it, and I have no hesitation.  I look forward to being married to my sweetheart so much!  At the same time, however, there is some nervousness.  Zachary and I have both grown up with wonderful parents who have taken care of our needs.  Soon, we will be taking care of our own needs (with the Lord's help), and that is quite a thought.  There are the unanswered questions about finances, housing, food, etc. that make one realize how serious life actually is!  How will it all work?  When fear knocks at my heart's door, it is easy to crack it open and pear into the dark unknown with trepidation.  I am thankful for the Lord's provision, and I fully trust Him and my wonderful Zachary.

The unknown is still just that: unknown. Yet -- and this is my One Thing -- there is no need to fear!  When we call on the Lord, He hears, and His answer is, "Do not fear!"  He will provide!

Friday, October 29, 2010

One Thing: Dependability

"Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say."
Philemon 1:21

Today's reading shows two very different pictures of following commands. We started Lamentations today, and it tells of the consequence that came to God's people because of their blatant and repeated disobedience.  They rejected the Lord, and suffering and famine was the result.  They turned their back on God's blessings.

Yet, in our New Testament reading, we read Paul's letter to Philemon.  Essentially, Paul is asking a favor of Philemon, and he has confidence that Philemon will honor Christ and do even more than was asked.  I want to have that obedient heart.  I want to be dependable.  It is not something that comes easily, I am sure of that.  It takes sacrifice and prayer -- and lots of practice.

My One Thing:  Be dependable.  Do more than is asked, and do so consistently without complaining. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Thing: Sarcasm

"Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, 'I am only joking!'"
Proverbs 26:18-19

This proverb from today's reading reminds me of sarcasm.  I hate sarcasm for three reasons.  First, I do not appreciate it when others are sarcastic with me.  Second, I tend to use sarcasm, and I know other people don't (or shouldn't) appreciate it from me.  Third, it is wrong and immature.

The definition of "sarcasm" isn't pretty, but, practically, what does it look like?  I know that I typically use it when I may be less than happy about something, but I can't say so directly, so I say something I don't really mean in order to vent my unspoken emotion.  How often have I said, "I am just joking?"

I say things that could be hurtful -- or at least unhelpful -- and then think I can make it all better because it was all a deceit; "I was only joking!"

My One Thing: Don't hurt others with sarcasm.  Be honest and make sure your jokes are funny for everyone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One Thing: Feminine Character

"Train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."
Titus 2:4-5

Not all of this applies to me yet, but I need to practice good character now, so that it will become a natural part of my lifelong service to God and family.  I can demonstrate self-control, purity, proper work priorities, and kindness now.  Also, I can practice submission now my being obedient to my family and learning to put my fiance's needs ahead of my own.  What a tall order!  But, God expects excellence, and He will always be with me to help and forgive me along the way.

My One Thing: Strengthen a servant's heart now, that the word of God may not be reviled.

In other good news, my Grandma is coming to visit from out of town today!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One Thing: Discipline and Temper

"He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined."
Titus 1:7b-8

There is so much to dive into here, but the word I am picking out for today is "disciplined."  I need a lot of discipline these days.  You might say my online classes require "regulation of practice" (Webster's 1828 Dictionary).  I also need to balance school -- which is most demanding -- with my other responsibilities.

My One Thing for today is: Be disciplined in my spiritual, academic, and relational responsibilities.  Being quick-tempered is not a right that comes with a full schedule; it is a sin.

Monday, October 25, 2010

One Thing: Endure

"As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."
2 Timothy 4:5

It has been awhile since I posted any of my One Thing! devotions.  There is no excuse, I know, but my pretended excuse is that I write so much for school that I don't have time or desire to write anything else.  It doesn't hold water though; my devotions are the most important part of my day.  So, today I wanted to share 2 Timothy 4:5 from my One Thing! reading.

A definition for endure is, "To bear with patience; to bear without opposition or sinking under the pressure."  Am I enduring the little things I consider suffering?  Or am I just putting up with them?  Am I fulfilling my ministry -- even when it isn't easy?

So, my One Thing! for today is: Don't sink under the pressure.  Endure patiently the big and little things that trouble me.