I was assigned another devotional for lent at church so I wanted to post it here too. Also, Joy did one that I will pay for her and the later I will post the one I wrote in case she didn’t have time to write hers up.
Psalm 119:11 “I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.”
This verse means a lot to me. I remember hearing this verse growing up in AWANA, and we try to recall it around our house occasionally. It could be easy to see this as a legalistic command to memorize scripture or else you are a sinner, but it is so much more.
I can remember times (particularly in college), when I would be on my own and thinking about something. I would likely have the radio or CD player on while I was fretting about something. And God would let me hear the lyrics to a song in a way that would bring peace more than any of the regular thoughts stewing in my head.
This verse reveals a truth to make that kind of experience more likely. As I study Gods word, or even more when I memorize it, my mind is shaped to think about things or in the ways that help me glorify God. Much like when I would listen to the radio in college, the Holy Spirit calls scriptures to mind more readily when I have memorized them.
Sometimes this can be comforting, sometimes it is convicting, but generally it will help me be centered on Christ. This devotional assignment is a good reminder to me, in this season of Lent, to see what scriptures I may need to review or what I may need learn new.
— this will be in the 2018 Lent devotional emails from HarmonySTL.org. I assume that they will have a signup for that. If you want the emails. If not you can just contact one of the staff and they can get the whole thing to you
The first day of a new year always feels so full of promise: “Let this be the year; the year that I finally do all of the things I’ve been trying to do or change about myself throughout my life.” You know, the year that I will finally take care of myself. I will have quiet time every day. I will eat clean and workout 4-5 times a week. I will stop emotionally eating. I will take ME time regularly. I will invest in meaningful friendships. I will finally organize my entire house (including the most dreaded basement) and follow a cleaning plan. I will declutter and become a faithful minimalist. I will play with and encourage my kids more. I will teach them how to be self-sufficient little people who will happily do chores and learn how to responsibly manage their money. I will responsibly manage my money. I will cheerfully sit down with my husband to create a budget that will snowball our way out of debt and I will cheerfully stick to it- every month! I will creatively and intentionally pursue communication and meaningful interaction with the man I love- no more passing ships in the night. I will find energy- somehow, someway, to do all of this- because this shall be the year.
In reality, if I’m honest, yes, I want all of these things. I am also a strange combination of realistic enough and skeptical to realize that most of, if not all of these things, are likely to remain as they have throughout my accumulating years.
However, as I enter 2017, there is a deep longing for things to be different. Not different as in “I hate my life and want to switch with someone.” Different as in the last year, for me as it has been for many that I know, has been exceedingly difficult. Not that it has been filled with all bad things, although some of the things I could certainly do without. Just hard. So, as I look into this new year I do so with a sense of longing, for knowledge about questions I have had for a long time. Longing for answers that will allow me to love the people in my life more effectively. Longing for peace, that in the middle of these storms can only be found at the feet of Jesus.
As I step forward into this year, I do so prayerfully. I pray that I will remember each day to treat myself and others with dignity. I pray that the Lord will continue to knit my husband and I together. That we will enter into this year with the strength of unity and determination. That God will bless our family and help us continue to unravel the mysteries that exist in each of us. I pray that we will take the lessons we have learned thus far as gifts to help us on our journey. I pray that my children will know each day that they are loved and cherished. That each of us will be mindful of the great blessings we have- placing each other at the top of that list. And as I sit here on New Year’s Day, writing a piece that my husband asked me to have finished a week ago, maybe, just maybe, I’ll add “stop procrastinating” to that first list.
This is Joys devotional [posted by nate]
I had an opportunity to contribute to a devotional at my church for Advent this is my share. When Joy’s comes around I will see if she will let me post it as well.