Five Minute Friday – On Any Given Day

On any given day, whose voice am I listening to?
Am I listening to the Voice of Truth?
Do I take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ?
Do I choose to think on that which is true, noble, just and pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy?
Do I choose to believe the best about people?  Don’t I want them to think the best about me?
What would my day look like if I did that?
Or do my thoughts follow my emotions and ever changing moods?
Do I listen to the voice of my enemy…the one who only seeks to kill, steal and destroy?
Why would I want to listen to someone who is a known liar…a liar from the beginning?  Someone in whom there is no truth?
Or do I listen to God’s voice through His Word? 
When praying do I stop to listen? 
Do I believe that in Christ I am a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come?
Do I believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me? 
Am I ready to say, “I can’t, God can…let’s go!”

If you would like to participate in Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday Challengehead over to her website “Tales from a Gypsy Mama”.  Be sure to read some of the entries from other writers.  I can promise you that you will be blessed.

There Are Days

There are days…
I wish I could return
To the days of old
People and things I once loved
There are days…
Yet I know that can never be
Besides that, I couldn’t take with me
Knowledge, wisdom and experience I’ve gained
There are days…
But I wouldn’t want to trade
How the Lord has grown and changed me
Compared to who I used to be
Lord, Today is the day
I want to focus on You
Not on my problems or trials and tribulations
Help me to find joy in You today
By Susan Wachtel
October 24, 2012

Five Minute Friday – Look Unto Me

Look unto Me, my daughter
Gaze upon my holiness
My righteousness untainted by sin
Look unto Me
Start each day by reading my Word
Holy Scripture which is active and alive
Look unto Me
Keep short accounts and unbroken fellowship
Repent, turn and follow Me
Look unto Me
Guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus
Be sanctified and set apart unto Me
Look unto Me
I will equip you for every good work
Strengthen and sustain you for what lies ahead
Susan Wachtel
October 20, 2012
If you would like to participate in Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday Challengehead over to her website “Tales from a Gypsy Mama”.  Be sure to read some of the entries from other writers.  I can promise you that you will be blessed.

“I Exalt You, O God” – Highly Recommended

Reading Jerry Bridges’ book, “I Exalt You, O God” was refreshing and a privilege.  
Jerry keeps the focus on God, who He has revealed Himself to be in scripture and why He alone deserves our worship.  The introduction delves into the subject of what worship is and how God should be worshiped.  “We glorify God by ascribing to Him the honor and adoration due Him because of His excellence.  We also glorify God by reflecting His glory to others.”  Jerry has a lot of scripture throughout the book along with quotes from theologians, both past and present, to help the reader better grasp and understand what worship is and how it is lived out in our lives. 
“I Exalt You, O God” is theologically sound.  Through the 31 daily devotions and scripture passages, the reader will see and meditate on the greatness, holiness, wisdom and love of God so he can better understand the glory that is due Him.  Jerry asks the penetrating question, “How can we honor and adore One on Sunday whom we have not taken time to praise and give thanks to during the week?” 
Jerry challenges the reader to make sure he is coming to God through Christ Jesus and to examine his heart to ensure he is not cherishing sin.  These devotions help the reader to see how awesome, holy, infinitely great and unfathomable God is and that He is worthy of praise and worship.  He also helps the reader to recognize his own sinful state and great need for God’s mercy and grace found in Christ alone, not only for salvation but also in our daily walk with God.  Jerry concludes each day’s devotion by praying scripture that reinforces the character or attribute of God that was studied. 
I highly recommend “I Exalt You, O God” by Jerry Bridges.  The reader will both be challenged and inspired by this book and grow in a deeper understanding of the amazing and awesome God we serve.  This is a book that you will want to read again and again, and it will help you to grow in your worship of God.  It would make a great book for a new believer or someone who wants to grow in their knowledge and understanding of Who God is. 
An electronic copy of “I Exalt You, O God” was provided to me for review by Random House through WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.  I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review. 

Trials & Tribulations…How do I respond?

When I’m in the middle of trials and tribulations, it seems that if I just knew what work God was doing in the midst of them, I could endure them with patience and persevere through His power and strengthen.
I fear that all too often I rely on my own strength, rather than run to the throne of grace in prayer.
When I grumble and complain, rather than pray, I’m living like an unbeliever. 
May I remember that unbelief is what resulted in the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years.  Unbelief…not good, not good at all. 
It’s okay to ask God questions, as long as I’m okay that He chooses not to answer.  May I trust God even when He is silent. 
Trials and tribulations remind me that I’m not in control, except for how I respond. 
Oh Lord, may I trust You with even when I don’t understand, nor like my lot.  May I be mindful of Your goodness and know that it never changes.  May my love for You never depend upon favorable circumstances.  May I praise You in the good times and bad.  May I be dependent upon You and not my own strength.

Five Minute Friday – A Welcome Relief

Lately it seems as though there’s not enough time in my day to sit down and write, even for five minutes.
But when I find that time, or make that time, it’s a welcome relief to shut out the world and spend a few minutes just writing  
With the busyness of my life, when I sit down, it’s hard to quiet my mind.  To tune out the voices of pressing demands and things that must be done.  
Be it taking pen to paper or putting my fingers on the keyboard, it’s kind of exciting.  Sometimes I don’t know what I’m going to say.  Will I jot down that thought that comes to mind or will I pass judgment and edit it out of existence because it doesn’t sound fitting or proper or good enough? 
Or will I share from my heart, my sins, weakness and vulnerability?  Will I be real without condoning something that is sinful or wrong before God? 
Something new that I started during my devotional time is to read a Psalm or few verses if it’s a long one, and then write a prayer and praises to God.  It’s a wonderful way to start my day.  A way to lift my eyes unto His throne.  To know that my God is mighty and huge and what seems like a big problem to me is but a speck of dust in His capable and loving hands. 
Sometimes I find that welcome relief at the end of the day when I write about what’s perplexing, frustrating or amazing me.  Writing is a way to quiet my mind and reflect upon my day from a new and fresh perspective or to unburden my heart, heavy from the cares of the day.  
If you would like to participate in Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday Challenge head over to her website “Tales from a Gypsy Mama”.  Be sure to read some of the entries from other writers.  I can promise you that you will be blessed.