Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Becoming a Scribe and Loving it!

Have you ever transcribed a portion of Scripture?  What about an entire book of the Bible?

I had never done either of those things and to be perfectly honest it really never crossed my mind to ever do something like that.  But this last year my son was given a project in his Bible class at school to write out the whole book of Proverbs!  I decided that if my 8th grade son could do something like this than I could do it too, doggone it! 

Every person in the class was given a book called a “Journible” (Bible/Journal).  In this book you copy the verses of scripture on the right hand side of the page only and on the left hand side of the page there are lines for you to journal your thoughts, prayers and questions. 

I decided that if I was going to do it right and really make a commitment to it that I needed one of these books to help me in my endeavor.  Sitting down with my new Journible I read the introduction and explanation of why journaling the Bible is important. 

These books are called the 17:18 series, which is taken from Dueteronomy 17:18.  Moses is in his last days on earth and he gives Israel instructions for when they would have a king rule their nation.  This is what Moses says, “When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy these laws on a scroll for himself in the presence of the Levitical priests.  He must always keep this copy of the law with him and read it daily as long as he lives.  That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of this law.  This regular reading will prevent him from becoming too proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens.  It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way.  This will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel.”   Dueteronomy 17:18-20 (NLV)

Even though I have read the Bible through a few times, this concept was completely new to me.  I was amazed not just that this was a command to the Kings of Israel but why they were commanded to do this as well.

It didn’t take me long to realize how incredible this simple tool was going to be in my life.  I found it to be a natural way to spend time in God’s Word with my Heavenly Father, meditating and thinking on what had been written.  For me studying is tedious and hard and does not create intimacy with my Father but this, this was exactly what I had been longing for in my time alone with God.

Copying down scripture caused me to slow down; to not skim over passages that were familiar. You see, I have a tendency to jump, skim, glance over Scripture that is well-known and I don’t take the time to really experience the Scripture.  This discipline forced me to stop, reflect and experience what I was reading and writing.  It was like taking a huge magnifying glass to the Word of God. 

As I journeyed through the book of Proverbs this summer, I was amazed at the things God taught me.  There were times when I was copying down the scripture and I would think, “Wait a minute, I already copied this down.  Am I in the wrong spot?”  Then I would realize that it wasn’t the wrong spot, it was just being repeated again verbatim, which then lead me to recognize that what I was writing must be pretty important if it was being repeated over again.  That was something I would never have seen just reading through Scripture.

At the end of my time in Proverbs, I wrote this: “This has been an absolutely fabulous experience!  I have loved copying down God’s Word.  As I wrote down these verses by hand, it felt as if they were being written on my heart!  Lord, thank you for bringing these truths to light in my life.  May I always seek to live YOUR WAY and not my own!”

I’m now on the book of Luke (Did you know the 1st chapter has 80 verses?!) and it is so different from the book of Proverbs!  I love it in a completely different way than I loved Proverbs.  And once again, God is teaching me how precious His Word truly is!

If you’re interested in joining me in this endeavor, here’s a link to ordering your own Journible: or!purchase  Of course you can always get a regular journal and copy down Scripture that way as well.  I have just found these books to be a wonderful treasure that I will be able to pass down to my children. (They will have a book of the Bible copied down in their Mom’s handwriting with thoughts and prayers of what God was doing in her life as she journeyed through various books of God’s Word.) And my children will be able to pass down to their children as well.  What a wonderful legacy to leave my family!
I’d love to hear how God is using this in your life if you take the challenge and join me in this undertaking.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Bottle of Tears

I confess I’m a crier.  I cry at movies, at baseball games when the National Anthem is played, at graduations, weddings, funerals.  I cry when I hear a sad story, when someone else cries, when I share what God has done in my life, when I’m angry and when I laugh hard enough.

I hate the fact that I cry so easily.  It can be incredibly embarrassing for one thing.  And for another, it puts people in an awkward position.  But crying can be a good thing!

God created tears.  It is in His design that we cry.

I love the Psalms!  Because they give us beautiful pictures of what our intimate relationship with God is like.  And Psalm 56:8 (NLV) gives us one of those snapshots of God’s tenderness with us when we are experiencing incredible sorrow in our life.  

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”  
(Yes, I’m sure I have a very BIG bottle!)

God not only keeps track of all our sorrows, hurts and heartaches – He has recorded them in His book and every tear we’ve cried He has stored in our bottle, the one He keeps just for us. 

I wonder, does my bottle have my name on it?  Is it a special color?   Does God, my Father look at my bottle full of tears and say? “Aaah, that one is my daughter Kristi’s.   See her bottle of tears, they are so precious to me, I treasure each one. I am intimately acquainted with all her ways and I love her.  When she has cried tears that no one sees, I have seen, I know and cherish each one because I cherish her.”

What a beautiful gentle picture this is of our God! - a Father who tenderly collects our tears and holds them close to His heart. 

Have you ever stopped to consider that God is keeping track of all your sorrows?  That He knows each one of them.  He has seen you cry until you can’t cry any more.  He has witnessed your heartache over a difficult child, a wayward spouse, a broken friendship, or the death of a loved one.  He has seen your tears when you have cried all alone in the dark, not sure of where to turn or where to go.  He has recorded each one in His book and collected your tears in the bottle He has just for you.  How precious you are to Him!

So let the tears flow and know that your God cares for you intimately and with great passion!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Every year as we begin a new ministry season, we ask the following question of ourselves and our leaders. 

  “What area do you feel God desires to work on in your life this year?” 

As I contemplated this, one word came to mind, GENEROSITY.

I have struggled with generosity, specifically in regards to money, for most of my life.  I admit I’m stingy.  I don’t like it, I want it to change but at the same time I resist admitting that this is an area in my life that I need to work on.  But it’s true and God is forcing me to take a good hard look at a place in my heart that I have not wanted to admit was even there.
  So when God brought that word to my mind, my prayer was something like this. . . “Again Lord?  Really, I feel like I’ve been working on this generosity thing in my life for quite a while.  Do you really want to have me focus on this again this year?  Aren’t there other more pressing issues that You want to deal with in my life?”

“Okay alright, I surrender this ugly part of my heart to you.  I want to be generous but find myself to be stingy, holding back the good things You have given to me.  I want to be sensitive to your leading in my life in this area.  Please open doors and make it clear to me when you are calling me to be generous with your good gifts.  I love you, your daughter.”

That word, GENEROSITY kept floating through my thoughts in the weeks that followed my commitment to God and I wondered what God had in store for me. . .

One busy afternoon, I was standing in line at the grocery store and there was a woman in front of me that was trying to use her bridge card.  Every time she would put in her password for the card, it would come up that it wasn’t recognizing it.  She was getting more and more frustrated by the minute and finally told the cashier that  she would need to set her groceries aside and call the government (that ought to be fun, I thought!).  My heart went out to her – how embarrassing it all must be for her.

And then I felt that still quiet voice in my head say, “Why don’t you pay for her groceries?” 

“What?  Well, you know Lord if they were only just $20 I would pay for them but they are more than double that!  I just can’t do that.”

“Why don’t you pay for her groceries?” that voice once again prodded.

“I don’t know what my husband would say if I did that.  I don’t think I should.”

“Why don’t you pay for her groceries?” I couldn’t get the thought out of my head.

I continued to argue with God as the cashier rang up my bill, shaking inside – "Should I do this?  I don’t know.  Quit fighting, isn’t this what you prayed for?   Alright already! I got it, I’ll do it."

I turned to the cashier and asked, “Would it be okay if I paid for that woman’s groceries?”

The cashier was a little taken aback as she said, “You know that it’s about $50!”  

Yes, I know and I’m fine with that, would it be alright?”  I replied.

The transaction took just a moment of our time and she looked at me and said, “Do you want to tell her?” 

I knew what the Lord wanted me to do.   I said, “No, I think you should tell her.”  And I walked out of the store – no actually I floated!

I couldn’t believe what I felt; this incredible joy filled my soul as I walked out in wonder and amazement that God would give me such an incredible gift! 

Oh how selfish my heart has been and what joy I have missed out on in allowing stinginess to invade my soul. What’s wrong with me?  Why do I wrestle with God, when He knows best?  Why do I quibble over a measly 50 bucks when my Heavenly Father has given me a gift that all the words in the world cannot describe? 
Jesus said, “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.”  John 6:38 (NLV)

How true I found this to be in my own life when I obeyed the promptings of God.  That’s the miracle of generosity – when we give with a pure heart, not expecting anything in return God gives us so much more than we can even ask or imagine!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What is that smell???

I walked in from our garage into the kitchen and immediately smelled something awful! It was permeating the whole house.  I figured it was either coming from the garbage or the refrigerator.  I checked the trash and didn’t find anything too smelly in there.  So my next exploration led me to the fridge, it took some sorting out but I finally found the culprit!  We had a nice science experiment going on in our refrigerator with a few spoonfuls of refried beans!  I couldn’t believe that such a little amount of food could cause such a great stink in our house!

Smell is a powerful thing.  A small whiff of an odor or fragrance can take you back to a memory from long ago - your Grandmother’s perfume, laundry hung on the line to dry, bread baking in the oven. 

The Bible talks about the aroma that a believer, who is a captive of Jesus Christ gives off.  Look at 2 Corinthians 2:14, “But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.”

Have you ever stopped to consider what kind of a smell you are giving off?  Is it a sweet fragrance of surrender to Jesus Christ or an acrid repugnant odor of sin hidden in your heart? 

Holding onto our sin is like carrying around a big smelly bag of trash.  We get used to carrying that bag and it actually feels good at times, we feel justified in our attitudes and our behaviors.  We don’t even realize that that big bag of trash is causing us to stumble and fall and to miss out on so much more that God wants to give us.  

How easy and comfortable it is to wallow in our sin, to justify it and excuse it while never realizing that it is weighing us down, tripping us up and holding us captive.

I have found that in my own life, when I allow sin to take root that it quickly takes over and I need to surrender to Jesus Christ and allow Him to dig it out and expel that odorous sin from my life. 

Just as a refrigerator cannot rid itself of its own smelly contents, we cannot clean up our life on our own.   We need a Savior to rescue us from our depravity, our foolishness and show us where we need to go - that Savior is Jesus Christ. 

Have you given over your bag of trash to your Savior?   Have you surrendered those areas in your life that are holding you back from wholeheartedly following Jesus?  What’s stopping you?

Exchange that smelly bag of trash for the fragrant aroma of following Jesus – I guarantee you won’t miss it!