A to Z Scripture Adventure: E is Psalm 100:4

E 2015You’ve made it to the fifth verse of your A to Z Scripture Challenge. I hope you are beginning to feel that these verses are your friends.

Here are some tips to help you as you take each new verse. 

  • Use  triggers like opening a door, or stopping at a traffic light to remind you to say your verse ten times each time.
  • Try writing them down.
  • Consider making cards to take with you or put them on your mirror or refrigerator.
  • Review all of the verses daily by going through the alphabet up to your new verse.
  • Have someone call out a letter, and give them the verse for that letter. Be patient with yourself. April is your introduction to these 26 life-giving verses. You can spend the rest of your life with them.

Be sure to try to do what the verse is telling you to do. For “A”, we practice asking. For “B,” we count our blessings and benefits. “C” reminds us to cast our cares on Him. “D” exhorts us to delight in Him, and “E” inspires us to be thankful to Him and bless His name.

And now introducing “E.”

E

Since it’s only five verses, I’m going to let you take a peek at the whole psalm where we find today’s verse.

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Here’s my paraphrase:

1 Make happy, joyful sounds whether it be shouting or singing.

2 Whatever you’re doing for the Lord, do it happily. When you come to Him, try singing.

3 Think about the fact that He is God. You can come right into His Presence, yet He is God. He made us. We didn’t make ourselves. We belong to Him!

4 The gates are the gates to His Presence. Come thanking Him. Praise Him. Thank Him. Bless His name.

5 Why? He is good. His mercy lasts forever. His mercy means when we deserve to be punished, he doesn’t do it. He helps us instead. His truth will last. We don’t have to argue or defend Him. His truth will make Him known to everyone everywhere.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. What a great way to spend a day, and a lifetime!

As you look at the A to Z Scripture Prayer Wall today, please pray that each one of us will enter into His Presence with thanksgiving today because God will surely answer every prayer.

Enjoy your day, entering into His Presence with thanksgiving.

 

 

Blogging from A to Z
Blogging from A to Z

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A to Z Scripture Adventure: D is Psalm 37:4

D2015“Mmmmmmmm!”  Your eyes are closed, the spoon is held midair; it has just left your mouth. What was it? It was something “delightful.” That is obvious from your expression. Perhaps key lime pie with all it’s tartness, warm brownie with melting ice-cream or flaky apple pie. You really are enjoying that aren’t you? That’s what it means to “delight.” It’s something you really enjoy. You can be savoring a taste, a moment, or being with a Person.

As we continue our A to Z Scripture Adventure, welcome the D verse. Remember you want to allow this verse to become a part of your daily life and repetition is the key. Think it as you wake up and throughout the day and as you fall asleep. From the connection that is made through familiarity, the truth of the verse will be revealed to you by the Holy Spirit. He will speak to you through it. You will be amazed as you experience the life that comes to you from one verse of the Word of God.D

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I have always loved Psalm 37:4, and perhaps, at first, it was for the wrong reason. To me it sounded like God promised to eventually give me what I want if I just delight in Him. Of course the wisdom of it is that as I delight in Him, “what I want” lines up with His perfect will, and He then fulfills the desires of my heart which He, Himself placed there.

I have learned to focus on the first four words of the verse, “Delight in the Lord.” During the day, as you meditate this verse, take some of your repetitions and just say those four words. Imagine what that looks like. Imagine His Presence, think about His love, His power, His goodness. Savor Him. Delight in Him, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Please check the A to Z Prayer Wall, and lift up those in need. Have a wonderful day, enjoy His Word as it seeps into your heart.

Blogging from A to Z
Blogging from A to Z

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A to Z Scripture Adventure: C is I Peter 5:7

C 2015Cares? You really don’t need them. All they do is slow us down and keep us from being productive. It is like we are pulling a sack of rocks behind us while trying to run a race. I have a suggestion for us today: Let’s take each rock, each care out of the bag, look at it for one last time, then pull our arm back like a professional baseball player and throw that rock as far as we can into the ocean of God’s love.  You have a beautiful and exciting day ahead of you that you can enjoy with family or friends or people you meet. Don’t wait another moment, start throwing those rocks far away into the sea.C

  As you meditate this verse up to one hundred times today, keep throwing those rocks until the bag is completely empty. And as daylight turns to evening, feel the waves of God’s goodness lap up around your feet and experience His peace.  And please don’t forget to check the A to Z Prayer Wall to pray for others.

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Oh, and by the way, about your cares? Don’t worry about them, He will take care of them because He cares for you.

A beautiful and exciting day belongs to you!

Blogging from A to Z
Blogging from A to Z

 

 

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A to Z Scripture Adventure: B is Psalm 68:19

B 2015On this second day of the A to Z Scripture Adventure, I present to you Psalm 68:19. I affectionately call it the “B” verse.  Each day the challenge is to try to say or think the verse 100 times. That’s just 10 x 10. You may think of it at ten different times during the day, and each time meditate or say the verse 10 times. There is no penalty for not completing the task, so see how far you can get and how much benefit you receive from what you can accomplish. Remember each verse is full of life and a little extra life in your day has to be a good thing!

This particular verse is dear to me because it is one we used to post in our car. We printed it out on a big sheet of paper and taped it to the dash of the car. The boys and I would say it ten times each time we got in the car. Once 5-year old Nick received a twenty dollar bill from a well-known traveling minister, and he was certain it was a result of having meditated on that verse.

B

There really are so many things that God and His angels are doing every day to keep us safe and to move us along into our destiny. There are many things that could go wrong and don’t every day! And many things that absolutely go right that we hardly notice. Let’s notice today and be thankful. Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. As you say the verse today, take time to count the benefits that bless your life every day and be thankful for each one.

If you take the challenge of saying or meditating this verse today, let me know and have a terrific day, loaded with benefits!

Now, would you take a minute and click the A to Z Prayer Wall tab at the top of the post or click on Prayer Wall here. Praying for others benefits you as well as them. Feel free to leave your prayer requests here, and they will be added to the list as they come in.

Blogging from A to Z
Blogging from A to Z

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A to Z Scripture Adventure: A is John 16:24

A

This is Day One of the Blogging A to Z Challenge 2015. We are embarking on an adventure to learn a verse for every letter of the alphabet. I’ll put our verse up each day with some brief insights, but the greatest benefit will come to each of us as we meditate the verse throughout the day. If you follow the suggestions, you will become so familiar with each verse that you will consider it a Faithful Friend. It will be there in your time of need and can readily be shared with others in need. You can click on the A to Z Challenge 2015 tab at the top to go back and review the posts or catch up if you miss one. Also each day, check the A to Z Prayer Wall and pray for others throughout the month of April. You can leave your personal insights and prayer requests in the comments. Thanks for joining me in this adventure. Let’s go!

 

A 2015I want you to meet our verse for the letter A-John 16:24, the first verse of our A to Z Scripture Adventure. “Ask and you shall receive that your joy may be full,” has been with me since July of 2001. I had met this verse in church a few times, but it became real to me the summer before I started teaching at our Christian school in North Carolina. It was the first one of 26 that I knew I would teach my students. My idea was that they would have 26 verses that they could call their own, that if awakened in the night, they would know these verses so well they could quote them from their heart without even being fully awake. These verses would become a part of them and would be with them all of their lives.

 

This amazing verse virtually covers every need anyone could have. It promises that God will answer your every request and every question. Just ask. This is not a slot machine verse where you just say, “I want this and I want that.” This is a relationship verse.

 

When reading it in the context of John 16, you see that Jesus was telling His disciples what was to happen to Him. He would soon leave them and they would be distraught, but He had to go in order to send Someone else. He would send Someone who could be closer to them than even He was. He would send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth. This made it possible for them and us to have direct access to God, the Father. We can now ask “anything in His name (Jesus’s name)  and He (God) will do it.

 

Again, this is not a slot machine verse. It is a relationship verse. God was confident that the Spirit of truth living in us would guide us into all truth. This means we would be wise enough to ask the best questions and to receive the best answers. We would learn to listen to our heart for the answers rather than seeking answers only through our reasoning. Because this wonderful Comforter and Friend is closer than close to us, we can ask questions all day long, and learn to hear His answers and receive His guidance. It is having the Wisest One quite literally available to us at all times and willing to provide the answers we need.

 

As we get this verse in our heart, we will know how and what to ask. We will receive, and our joy will be full! Isn’t this enough to make you want to turn flips in the spirit and get this verse in your heart as fast as you can! Say it or think it every time you open a door today, or every time you brush your teeth or every time you see a red car. Say it or think it ten times each time, and learn the reference, too. It takes a good deal of repetition and meditation to get a verse in you, just as it takes many repetitions to strengthen our physical muscles, but it is one of the most worthwhile efforts you can ever make.

 

And Now a Joke Just for Fun:

A fellow was praying one day and feeling very close to the Lord, so close he felt he could ask Him any question and he would get an answer.  So he looked up to heaven and asked the Lord, “Lord, what is a thousand years like to you?” The man was startled when he immediately heard the Lord say, “My son, a thousand years is like a second to me.” The man was encouraged and asked another question, “Lord, what is a million dollars to you?” The Voice of the Lord boomed from heaven, “A million dollars, my child, is like a penny to me.” After a brief pause, the gentleman humbly looks to heaven and asks, “Lord, will you give me a million dollars?” The Lord’s voice rang out, “Just a second.”

We will soon learn to ask the best questions!

 

Now would you take a moment and open the A to Z Prayer Wall tab and ask God to to intervene in these needs. Thanks! Enjoy your day with “Ask and you shall receive that your joy may be full.”

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Blogging from A to Z
Blogging from A to Z

A to Z Scripture Adventure Starts Tomorrow

A to Z Badge 2015Sometimes in life something wonderful and unexpected happens, and then it happens again. Several months ago I was in North Carolina visiting my dad. Jay and I went into a Chick Fil-A to get food before heading home. Suddenly I heard my name, “Ms. Sharon!” I turned around and when my eyes adjusted, I recognized a dear friend who had been one of my students at the small Christian school where I was principal and teacher several years ago. I hugged this dear one and was introduced to her two year old! As we were getting ready to leave, she gave me a gift I did not expect. She told me she still had the scripture key ring she had gotten at school and was teaching the A to Z verses to her little boy! This was incredible to me. It was a promise fulfilled and a dream come true.

Just yesterday, another one of my students, now a college graduate and teacher visited our church. She told me she had been thinking about me often as she was now a teacher herself, and said that she used her A to Z verses all of the time.

Nick, my own middle son designed the banners displaying the verses you will see each day in April. When I asked him if he neededHeather and Alex me to send him a copy to make the banners, he said, “Puh-lease!” I could say them blindfolded!”

That was the whole idea. That these forty students who attended our school from 2001 to 2006 would get these verses in their heart so that they would always have them. The fact that they are still using them and passing them on to others is more than I could ask or think. I know there are others of the 40 who could be awakened in the night and if the letter,” F” was called out, they would sit straight up in bed and say, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

I know that perhaps some of our students have for a time fallen away from what they believed and what was dear to them, but the things they have learned and the reality of truth and Christ is still alive in their hearts and will bring them through in the end.

I am inviting you to take the adventure that 40 students and teachers took  to  learn and live the A to Z verses. You live them by getting them deep in your heart (through repetition and meditation) and allowing each verse to come alive in you. I promise you your life will be enriched.

Taking one a day and living with that verse throughout the day is only the beginning. After April is over, you can take one a week until these verses truly become yours! Once they are yours, no one can ever take them away from you, and you can pass them on to others. This is definitely an adventure you don’t want to miss!

How it works:

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the blog, so you won’t miss a day. Come by each day to get your verse. Take the verse with you everywhere you go. As you brush your teeth, open the door, or whatever triggers you to think of the verse, say it or think ten times each time with the reference said on number 5 and 10. At the end of the day, if you think you haven’t said the verse at least 100 times, tally them up until you have. You will not regret it. Be sure to leave comments sharing your adventure with us! Let’s get started!

Visit here to read more from the  Blogging A to Z Challenge 2015.

Theme Reveal: A to Z Challenge 2015

atoz-theme-reveal-2015-125As the curtain opens a human-sized A comes front and center and takes a bow. B, C, D, E follow gracefully in turn, each one humbly bowing and extending his/her “hand” to focus on the following life-size letter. The crowd cheers as each one is presented, standing to their feet with whistles, applause and shouts of approval. The A to Z verses have come to life! They now add vitality to your very existence. They are as much a part of you as your arm or ear. You wonder how you ever made it without them. That is my goal for the A to Z Challenge 2015: A to Z Scripture Adventure!

I can’t wait to introduce you to MY 26 friends. Each day for 26 days, I will feature an amazing, life-filled, life-changing, life-challenging scripture. These verses are precious and priceless to me. They’ve been with me for the last 15 years, and I have meditated on each one hundreds of times. I know them, and I love them. When I hear or see one of these verses, I immediately smile, and say, “That’s my verse.” I hope by the end of April, many or all of these verses will be yours, too.

This is my second year to be a part of the A to Z Challenge, and this year is going to be easy and fun for me, and easy and fun for you to read. I am not going to attempt to explain the meaning of the verses or try to expound upon what the verse actually says. I may simply give some bullet points of insights I have received, or I may write something I feel the Lord has impressed upon me. Some days, I’ll  be posting blogs that I have previously published.

You will obtain the most advantage from this adventure if you will take the verse of the day and say it, or think it as many times as you can. If it seems boring, think of it as exercise. Repetition is the key to strengthening those muscles, and we are doing nothing short of strengthening our spiritual muscles!

The second part of each day’s blog will be to pray for others. I am listing real life problems, challenges, questions in categories from A to Z. Find a problem you can relate to, and I will suggest ways to apply our daily verse to those problems. By praying for others, you are developing those spiritual muscles even more. It’s going to be a month of exercise, a month of growth, a month of refreshing, and certainly a month of adventure. You will be invigorated as you see the changes that come through simply making these verses a part of you.

To get started, would you leave your prayer requests, problems, questions or challenges in the comments. I have C,D, J, M and P. I would love to add your requests to our list. Names will not be used. Feel free to state your request in very general terms. We’ll have a great group of prayers lifting up your needs, so jump on board.

A to Z Badge 2015SharySignature

I Need Your Problems!

It’s not that I don’t have any problems of my own, it’s just that the magnitude of the project I am planning requires a wide and varied collection of the challenges people are facing on a daily basis. I won’t need to keep them, I just need to borrow them for a while.

The month of April is upon us and of course many of you are aware that April is the month in which bloggers from all of the world join the A to Z Challenge. For this challenge, we blog every single day except Sunday using the letters of the alphabet in order as a prompt and sticking to a theme of our choice. I will be revealing this year’s theme on March 23rd, but for now I would like to collect as many problems of all size, shapes, and intensity, as I can.

A to Z Badge 2015

I don’t mean to make light of any problem. I know some are so grave, even life-threatening that we hardly want to talk about them. My commitment to you is that I will pray for these specific areas of need throughout the month of April as I blog. I will be praying for God to reveal His will and make all provision for needs to be met and answers to come.

I will be blogging about how the Word of God can be applied to all kinds of problems. While the problems will be published, all names associated with them will be kept confidential. Names will be withheld or changed to protect privacy. These “problems” can be the kind of things you would write “Dear Abby” about, or they can be requests you would bring to the leaders of your church. They can be light-hearted concerns, questions to be answered, monumental decisions to be made, or challenges to be overcome. They can be your own problems or problems of someone you know.

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Many people find that when you share your burdens, they become lighter. I need all of the problems you can send me. Feel free to private message me through Facebook, or if you can, leave them anonymously here. If you request a private email, I will be glad to provide that for you.

What will I do with your problems? First, I will handle them with prayer. Secondly, I will be seeking the Lord for encouragement for each of these problems. I may categorize them alphabetically too and list them for readers to pray over as well. This will be an encouragement to pray for others who have similar needs. There may be a day for health issues, and another for marital, another for financial. I am not sure how it will go. I do know that the Word of God will be applied to each problem, and those who get involved will be strengthened in their inner most being. I hope you will be a participant, a reader, a prayer an encourager, and maybe even a writer joining our A to Z Challenge 2015.

APRIL-CALENDAR [2015]

Thank you for sharing your problems! I am confident that benefit will come to you for sharing. Also feel free to share problems you know of that others have. You do not have to share their name or any identifying information.

I am looking forward to April. Read more about the Challenge here.

Have a wonderful day in spite of any and every problem you face. You are not alone!

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