Keep the Doors Open…

…they will come. You don’t need a fancy house or a paved driveway.

Just keep your door and mind open and available to who God will send your way.

Welcome them in and start the process of knowing and being known.

Cramped quarters can work.

We had our first evening of a new small group season last night. We knew we’d have 7 of us from our previous year returning again but we didn’t know who else might show up for our first meeting. We had 6 new people show up and they found our home without having to call for directions. We were happy to welcome them in.

We are singles, couples, older, younger and in between. A good mix of ages from very different life experiences. The common ground is we want to follow Jesus. It will be good to get to know each other, grow together, and pray for one another. It’s good to be heading in the same direction with others.

Today I’m thankful for small groups also called life groups, cell groups or when we first started with this idea of smaller groups of people meeting outside of the church building we called them fellowship groups or Bible studies. We are thankful to have a home and chairs for people to fill.

The Last Couple of Days:

Dear and I have worked very hard the last two days in our basement. We moved out things we aren’t using to the garage so we had to also work on the garage organizing storage. We moved around furniture and now the room looks like a comfortable bedroom instead of a catch-all room. We pulled out a very heavy office desk system since we don’t use the computer in the basement anymore. We took an extra office chair out to the street with a free sign on it and it was gone by the end of the day. From the garage we offered up a smoker and barbecue to anyone at our son’s business and we have takers for both. Today we’re taking an antique chair frame that we’ve moved around for 30 years (why?) to an antique restorer hoping he’ll just take it off our hands. We are serious about getting rid of stuff. Thankful our bodies are still working today.

Anybody else out there hosting a small group, attending a small group or downsizing?

I’m linking up to Michelle’s Thankful Thursday and tomorrow to Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five.

Fun Fall Gifts

Our Fall Women’s Bible Study is coming to an end this Friday. I’m a table leader so I needed to find some little gifts for my ladies. I was pleased to find these Autumn leaf mugs at Homegoods this week that I ended up filling with a variety of tea bags. The mugs were $3.00, yippee! I already had the cellophane bags and the ribbon was left over from another event.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and demanding a ransom for me to access them. I’m slowly cleaning up many of my posts where PB have added ugly black and grey boxes where my photos used to be. So frustrating!

Encouragement ~

I Thessalonians 5:11 ~ “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

I Thessalonians 5:14 ~ “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

Romans 1:11,12 ~ “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you – that is, that we may be mutually encouraged “by each others” faith, both yours and mine.”

Romans 15:5 ~ “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Hebrews 3:13 ~ “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Hebrews 10:25 ~ “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

So here’s what I heard yesterday in our church service (we went to the Saturday evening service) that I found encouraging and want to pass along to you. Our hope looks forward to our inheritance. When Jesus was resurrected and was seated at the right hand of the Father we became heirs with Him (Romans 8:17, Gal. 4:7).  Our inheritance is unfading, death proof, sin proof, time proof. We will have a new body (I Cor. 15:50-58), a new home (John 14: 1-3), a new world (2 Peter 3:13), a new job (Matt: 25:21-23), a new relationship with God (Rev. 21:3-4). The Holy Spirit is the pledge of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13,14).

We need to keep looking to what Jesus has done for us and what we have to look forward to in Him in order to be grounded in our faith and anchored in this topsy turvy world. We don’t look at what is happening on the outside but what is happening in our inner man, daily renewal. We keep looking to what Jesus has accomplished for us. This is where our hope is, our living hope. We can’t focus on this life. I’m going to work on memorizing these next verses over the next couple of weeks. Do you want to join me? 🙂

2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 ~ “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

My hope is that this will be encouraging to you…

ht: Steve Larson, pastor E.V. Free Conejo Valley

Thursday Thirteen ~ Hebrews

Last Thursday Leslie at Lux Venit had thirteen hard sayings of Jesus in the book of Mathew. I wanted to follow her lead this Thursday. I’m wrapping up my reading of the book of Hebrews so here are 13 or more reasons to keep our eyes on Jesus and follow Him closely.

 

Hebrews 1:3 ~ “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

1 ~ God speaks to us through His Son.

2. ~ Jesus is the Heir of all things.

3. ~ Jesus is superior to all created beings.

4. ~ Jesus tasted death for everyone.

6. ~ Because Jesus has gone before us and prepared the way for us.

4. ~ So that we do not drift away.

7. ~ So that we do not become bitter.

8. ~ Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant.

9. ~ Jesus always lives to intercede for those he saves completely.

10. ~ Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins.

11. ~ Through Jesus we can draw near to God.

12. ~ Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith.

13. ~ When we fix our eyes on Jesus we will not grow weary and lose heart.

There are so many more reasons. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

This is a rich book that is filled with the supremacy and the completed work of Jesus. I pray that some of the deep truths in this book will stick in my heart and mind…

Jeremiah 31:33 ~ …”I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.”

Maundy Thursday ~ John 13: 1-17

 I’m reposting this from last year… Blessings! 

Maundy ThursdayCeremonial washing of feet

Maundy Thursday is the Thursday of Holy Week (the Thursday before Easter). It was the day on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples, sharing a meal with them which we call the Last Supper.

In those days it was usual for a servant to wash the guests feet on arrival. On this occasion there was no servant present and none of the disciples volunteered to do the menial task. Instead, Jesus got up and washed his disciples feet, giving them an object lesson in humility and service.

In some churches priests carry out a ceremonial washing of the feet of twelve men on Maundy Thursday as a commemoration of Christ’s act.

In Britain it is still customary for the sovereign to give ‘Maundy Money’ to a number of male and female pensioners – one man and one woman for each year of the sovereign’s age. The money is contained in two purses: one red and one white. The white purse contains specially minted coins – one for each year of the sovereign’s life. The red purse now also contains money, in lieu of gifts which used to be offered to the poor. Up to the time of James II the sovereign also washed the feet of selected poor men.

The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin for ‘command’ (mandatum). It refers to the command given by Jesus at the Last Supper, that his disciples should love one another.

Thanks to Jeff Osborne for supplying the picture below which shows a bowl with two platforms. The guest would be able to stand on these and have water poured over the feet into the bowl

 Ethiopian basin for washing feet

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet ~  John 13: 1-17 (ESV)

13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,  but is completely clean. And you  are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant  is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

~~~~~~~

What Jesus did here to teach his disciples is very important for us to consider. He showed the “full extent of his love” by washing their feet and instructed them to follow his example and wash each others feet. We can’t miss the fact that serving one another is a very important truth that Jesus wants us to understand and follow. We need to put others needs above our own. Who does God want me to serve? Who am I suppose to wrap the towel around my waist for? Who am I suppose to lay down my rights and privileges for? Who am I to show the full extent of my love to?  Who am I suppose to humble myself for? I pray that I will go deep in understanding this amazing thing that God wants me to follow Him in and that you will, too. Let us consider together what our Savior, Master, King did and try to do the same.

http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=John+13%3A+1-17

http://www.thisischurch.com/christianinfo/maundythursday.htm

Taste and See ~ John Piper

I’m reading along in Taste and See (Savoring The Supremacy of God in All of Life) 140 meditations by Piper and I wanted to share these verses that he references in meditation #18 titled How to Pray For The Soul (Yours Or Another’s) Praying in sync with the way God works ~

How to pray for your soul and others…

1. Psalm 119:36 ~

“Turn my heart toward your statutes and not towards selfish gain.”

2. Psalm 119:18 ~

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”

3. Ephesians 1:18 ~

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.”

4. Psalm 86:11 ~

“Teach me your way, O lord and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”

5. Psalm 90:14 ~

“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”

6. Ephesians 3:16 ~

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”

7. Colossians 1:10 ~

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”

8. Mathew 6:9 ~

“This then is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name”

Pray all this in Jesus’ name because of Romans 8:32 ~ “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things.”

Piper expounded on each of these but I’m just giving you the skeleton and letting you consider these verses in enriching your prayer life for yourself and others.

Blessings…

Ht: Lana G! for the photograph of my father praying.

8 in 2008

Play Along…It is easy to play along. Just pick out 8 things you’d like to see, do, feel, or experience in 2008! Your list can be spiritual, physical, or emotional, but hopefully not too material! If the Lord leads you, dream big as you share your heart’s desires with Him along with a willingness to see His work accomplished in you and through you in 2008.

So I’m joining in with others at Extravagant Grace and considering 8 things I’d like to see, do, feel, or experience in 2008. ~

Here are my Eight…

1. I’d love to see some of the people I’m praying for who aren’t Disciples of Christ respond to God’s call this year. I realize that my responsibility in this is to keep praying diligently for them…

2. I want to try to walk at least 6 days a week. I’m over 50 now and my body just needs an extra push in burning calories. I don’t eat excessively (except at holidays, birthdays, every 3rd Tuesday, etc. ) I need a lot of help in keeping my weight stable as opposed to gaining…

3. I want to Abide in Christ and here’s a great quote that I saw at “Of First Importance Blog” that describes abiding well. “In a nutshell, abiding in Christ means allowing His Word to fill our minds, direct our wills, and transform our affections. In other words, our relationship to Christ is intimately connected to what we do with our Bibles!”– Sinclair Ferguson, In Christ Alone (Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2007), 114 ~

4. I want to spend more time with my parents and family. ~

5. I’d like to cut down on some monthly expenses and try to pay down some debt this year. Along with this I’d like to convert to on-line bill paying. ~

6. I’d like to call and write our older surviving Aunts and Uncles more this year. ~

7. I want to keep learning new things by reading and traveling. ~

8. I want to honor my husband more this year. I think I’ll need to come up with something more specific to accomplish this, like listening better, etc. To see more 8 in 2008 click over to Extravagant Grace.