September 21, 2017

Wise Men

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv
Three believed without a doubt
Saw a guiding light
Found Him in a lowly place
And knew He was divine
Wise men, wise men, wise men
Still look for Him

Giving gifts of thanks and praise
They called Him a king
Feeling joy that knew no bounds
They fell down worshiping
Wise men, wise men, wise men
Still look for Him

Surely angels still sing when someone comes so far
Traveling the distance from the depths of one’s own heart
Searching for salvation, they need not wear a crown
He’s still here for all who seek and He wants to be found

Letting God’s Word be their guide
They went home again
That’s where their story leaves us
And where ours begins
Wise men, wise men, wise men
Still look for Him

Allen Krehbiel
written with Trish Matthews

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you
who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”
After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

Matthew 2:1-12 NLT

As Christmas has passed and we are all cleaning up and getting back to our routines, it’s possible that we may unintentionally be leaving our focus on Jesus behind.

We say that we want to keep our minds on Jesus…but do we?

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3

We don’t know the details of the lives and work of the wise men, but it is fair to say that they studied the stars. They were knowledgeable enough to recognize that something new and important had appeared in the night sky. They were scholarly men who studied various literatures, which included what we refer to as the Old Testament, specifically the prophecies. We could say that they were ‘full of knowledge.’ What made them wise was how they accepted that knowledge and used it for good. With their knowledge, they wisely committed to look for…and find…the prophesied Messiah. According to the prophecies, the King of the Jews had been born; and not an ordinary king, but one so great that He was worthy of their time, their gifts, and their worship.

{Here is an interesting article from the Institute for Creation Research…}
When They Saw The Star

I know some of us are saying, “I took time out from my daily life to focus on Christmas. Now I need to get back to my family and work routines to keep things running smoothly.” God knows all of that is necessary, and He certainly doesn’t condemn that. But He also knows that focusing our hearts and minds on Jesus is important to all aspects of our lives and the lives of our family.

This story of the wise men leaves us with a very good lesson. The wise men used their knowledge to personally seek the king of the Jews, the Messiah. That is wisdom. As we “travel” into the new year, 2016, let’s make the same commitment that the wise men did. As we daily study God’s Word, we will gain knowledge of God and His plan for us. With God’s Word as our guide, we will wisely seek Jesus in a more personal way, and our very life will reflect Him. “He’s still here for all who seek and He wants to be found.”

You will seek Me and find Me,
when you seek Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13

Wise men—and women—still seek Him.

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Lord, many of us have heads full of knowledge, but we know that doesn’t equate to being wise.  In this coming year, please help us through Your Holy Spirit to be more committed than ever to study Your Word, and then use it wisely to grow closer to You, more like You, and draw others to You. In the Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen, It Is So.

Make My Life A Prayer To You

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Make my life a prayer to You
I want to do what You want me to

No empty words and no white lies
No token prayers, no compromise

I want to shine the light You gave
Through Your son You sent to save us

From ourselves and our despair
It comforts me to know You’re really there

Well I want to thank You now for being patient with me
Oh it’s so hard to see when my eyes are on me
I guess I’ll have to trust and just believe what You say
Oh you’re coming again…coming to take me away

I want to die and let You give
Your life to me so I might live

And share the hope You gave to me
The love that set me free

I want to tell the world out there
You’re not some fable or fairy tale

That I’ve made up inside my head
You’re God the Son and You’ve risen from the dead

Keith Green 
written by Keith and Melody Green

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13

This verse always reminds me of seeking my God during my ‘quiet time.’

David wrote about his ‘quiet time’ in the following verse.  Does the Lord hear you expressing your heart to Him in the same way?  I believe that as we are intentional and seek Him that, yes, this is how God sees us.

In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord;
In the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You
And watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].
Psalms 5:3

Here  is a great example of God’s design for our prayer life:

Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life],
Being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2

Those are some very intentional words <earnest, unwearied, steadfast> used at the beginning of that verse, yes?  Other versions use similar words: devote, persevere, continue….  This reminds me so much of David’s heart—he was earnest, devoted, steadfast  in his desire to be in God’s presence.

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything,
but in every circumstance and in everything,
by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving,
continue to make your wants known to God.
And God’s peace [shall be yours, that peace]
which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard
over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6 and 7 AMP

Now, of course, that time you spend alone with Your Lord—your quiet, devotional time—is certainly not the only time to pray!  Actually, I think, being intentional—seeking Him first and foremost in our quiet, devotional time—prepares our hearts for the rest of our day to be filled with continual little prayers and petitions directed to our God.  We make our life a {continual} prayer to Him.

How often do we go along through our day, accomplishing the normal even mundane tasks, all the while fellowshipping and talking with our Heavenly Father?  Or driving (yet again) to school to pickup your children; isn’t that a great time to pray?  Or waiting for them at dance/soccer/baseball practice or music lessons/cub scout meeting/awana time/_______ (you fill in the blank); yet another small amount of time that can be eked out of our day to pray and seek Him.  Paul wrote a number of times in his letters to the Christian believers about the importance of praying.  He used terms such as, “pray at all times,” “keep alert and watch,” “pray without ceasing.”  Listen to this encouragement to make our lives a life of prayer:

Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit,
with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty.
To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance,
interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).
Ephesians 6:18

Pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 and 18

It is clear that by seeking God first and foremost, by being intentional in our quiet time in our  prayers and petitions, we will be better prepared to “pray at all times, and, keep alert and watch, and, pray without ceasing.”  We will have made our ‘life a prayer’ to Him.

Make My Life a Prayer To You

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

 Make my life a prayer to You I want to do what You want me to
No empty words and no white lies, no token prayers, no compromise

I want to shine the light You gave through Your son You sent to save us
From ourselves and our despair, it comforts me to know You’re really there

Well I want to thank You now for being patient with me
Oh it’s so hard to see when my eyes are on me
I guess I’ll have to trust and just believe what You say
Oh you’re coming again…coming to take me away

I want to die and let You give Your life to me so I might live
And share the hope You gave to me, the love that set me free

I want to tell the world out there You’re not some fable or fairy tale
That I’ve made up inside my head You’re God the Son and You’ve risen from the dead

~  written by Keith and Melody Green; performed by Keith Green ~

♥  _________________________________ ♥

This week, over on our Seeking Him Daily Devotional blog, the writers are sharing with us thoughts focusing on Jeremiah 29:13.

You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.

This verse always reminds me of seeking my God during my ‘quiet time.’

David wrote about his ‘quiet time’ in the following verse.  Does the Lord hear you expressing your heart to Him in the same way?  I believe that as we are intentional and seek Him that, yes, this is how God sees us.

In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord;
In the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You
And watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].
Psalms 5:3

Here  is a great example of God’s design for our prayer life:

Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life],
Being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2

Those are some very intentional words <earnest, unwearied, steadfast> used at the beginning of that verse, yes?  Other versions use similar words: devote, persevere, continue….  This reminds me so much of David’s heart—he was earnest, devoted, steadfast  in his pursuit of being in God’s presence.

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything,
but in every circumstance and in everything,
by prayer and petition (definite requests),
with thanksgiving,
continue to make your wants known to God.
And God’s peace [shall be yours, that peace]
which transcends all understanding
shall garrison and mount guard
over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6 and 7

Now, of course, that time you spend alone with Your Lord—your quiet, devotional time—is certainly not the only time to pray!  Actually, I think, being intentional—seeking Him first and foremost in our quiet, devotional time—prepares our hearts for the rest of our day to be filled with continual little prayers and petitions directed to our God.  Our life becomes a {continual} prayer.

How often do we go along through our day, accomplishing the normal even mundane tasks, fellowshipping and talking with our Heavenly Father?  Or driving (yet again) to school to pickup your children; isn’t that a great time to pray?  Or waiting for them at dance/soccer/baseball practice or music lessons/cub scout meeting/awana time/_______ (you fill in the blank); yet another small amount of time that can be eked out of our day to pray and seek Him.  Paul wrote a number of times in his letters to the Christian believers about the importance of praying.  He used terms such as, “pray at all times,” “keep alert and watch,” “pray with ceasing.”  Listen to this encouragement to make our lives a life of prayer:

Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit,
with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty.
To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance,
interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).
Ephesians 6:18

Pray without ceasing;  in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 and 18

So I think that we see by seeking God first and foremost, by being intentional in our quiet time in our  prayers and petitions, we will be better prepared to “pray at all times, and, keep alert and watch, and, pray without ceasing.”  We will have a ‘life’ of prayerfulness.  We will be continually seeking Him throughout each day thus carrying out His will (1 Thessalonians 5:18)!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   

Interested in joining us for our next Online Bible Study that starts on January 13, 2014?   Click HERE for more details!

Captivating: Chapter 9 – “Loving Fallen Men” – “Good Men That Do Not Belong To You” (pp 161-167)

Wow, ladies…I have to say, this section of the chapter really hit close to home in many ways.  And to be honest, part of me started to balk as I was reading this.  “I can’t write about that!  I can’t talk about that!”  or  “I don’t know what to say!”  Of course, I know this is a ploy of the enemy to try to get me to shy away from a difficult topic, so here I humbly sit writing this post for me, as much as every reader out there.  I pray you are blessed.

You Will Find Me

Seek me with all your heart.  How many of us long to have a man who is willing to do just that?  Exactly what does that look like?  And how do we cultivate that in our relationships? This is no easy question.  I believe that we have to walk a delicate line when we are attracted to a man.  In the book John and Stasi state, “Don’t offer everything, but don’t offer nothing.”  How do we know what is too much…not enough?  This is something we cannot do on our own.  This is when we must lean into the arms of Jesus and seek His guidance. Fervently pray for discernment and wisdom when entering into any relationship.

We also need to remember that “don’t offer everything” not only includes the physical, but also the emotional.  I have had some trials in my life, like most of us, and in the past I have found myself spewing forth every detail of my past to someone who, in reality, I barely knew. We have to realize that this isn’t necessary; as with anything else, the reveal should be slow and based on increased intimacy with a man.  When we find ourselves sharing so much so soon, we also have to look at our motivations for doing it.  Are we longing for intimacy so much that we are forcing the issue?  Are we sharing every skeleton in our closet to scare any potential mate away?  Or are we just not using good judgement?

We deserve to be valued, and not every man deserves all of us ladies.  Guard your treasures—physical, emotional, and spiritual—to share with the man the Lord provides.  We cannot avoid this challenge in our journey but, when we trust in our Lord and seek His guidance completely and fully,  the results will all be worth it.  Remember the words in Matthew 6:33 (NLT) – “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”

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LET’S PRAY:

Father, I ask You to guide us.  You know this journey isn’t an easy one.  It can be so hard to know how much is too much when we delve into the world of dating.  We pray that we always keep You first, because then all that follows will be pure.  Guard our hearts, mind our tongues, and keep us close as we learn to discern Your voice in the chaos.  Thank You for loving us with a love like no other.  In Your Heavenly Name we pray.  Amen.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:

In which aspect do you find it hardest to find the balance between “not enough” and “too much?”  Is it spiritual?  Physical?  Emotional?  In what ways do you turn to God for guidance?

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GWS

Our next online Bible study begins March 24th!

Click on the picture to sign up TODAY!! 

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 If you would like to send Michelle a private email in regards to this blog post, you may email her at:  Michelle@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com

Captivating: Why a Beauty to Unveil

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,

to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”

Proverbs 25:2

____________________

We are created in God’s image.  Think about that.  Out of ALL the things that God created, everything, it is us that He decided to create in His image.  What an amazing honor.  As I was reading this passage I was so thankful and in awe of our God.  When we take time to truly contemplate all He is and all He does, it should bring us to our knees.  It’s amazing.

Now because we were created in God’s image, we can start to look at parallels in that relationship.  In Proverbs we read, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”   This is how He reveals Himself, and it is how He wants us, as women, to approach our lives also.  Does God go out and force Himself on anyone who will listen?  Absolutely not.  He wants us to know Him, and then grow more and more in love with Him each day.  In Jeremiah 29:13 it says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” He has confidence that if you truly get to know Him, you can’t help but fall in love with who He is and want to make that relationship grow.

This was a big “wow” moment for me as I was reading.  The way that God woos each and every one of us is the same way we should go about any potential relationship we may be considering.   He created us to be a mystery, a beauty to unveil, and we should take that to heart.  How do you behave when you are interested in someone?  Do you throw yourself at them?  Do you make it easy for them?  Do you give too much too soon?  I know there have been times in the past when I have done all of those things.  It has never led to anything good, let alone godly.  We need to use the example of our Lord.  Intimacy requires time; it requires a slow unveiling of the beautiful mystery you are.  I loved this quote, “Whatever else it means to be feminine, it is depth and mystery and complexity, with beauty at its very essence.  Every single woman reading this right now has a beauty to unveil.  Every one.  You are created in the image of God.  What is more beautiful than that?

As we have read through this chapter on Eve, think about the amazing truths we have heard.  Why is it that we long for romance, we long for an “Ezer” and believe beauty is essential to life?  Because God wants these things too!  He created our uniquely feminine heart.  It is a beautiful thing.  We long because He longs.   This continues to blow me away!  As we finish up this chapter I ask each of you to not only remember this, but believe it:    There is a radiance in your heart that the world desperately needs.  Shine bright, ladies!

 

LET’S PRAY

Lord, we are so grateful to You for the way You love us.  Thank You for creating the beauty and mystery within us.  Please help us to keep that sacred.  We want to live out a life that honors the beauty You have given us.  Remind us to take it slow, and help us remember we are worth getting to know. We want to shine Your light through our depth, mystery and complexity.  In Your Holy Name we pray. Amen.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT

When you read the account of the Creation, you saw Eve, a woman, as the crown of creation and the final work of God. How did that make you feel? What did you think about that?

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If you are interested in joining this amazing online Bible study, click HERE to sign up.

Once you are registered, you will receive an email with further details.

If you would like to send Michelle an email in regards to this blog, please send it to: Michelle@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

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God and Life Balance… with Megan Smidt

phil 413

 

You all know I have 5 kids, right?

My oldest is 21 and my youngest (sweet Vicky) is 14…. and the one thing they have all struggled with is balancing their life with their relationship with God.

Yesterday, my dear friend Coleen Hayden shared with you a glimpse into what it looks like to seek the Lord as she will be blogging about this for you the next 4 weeks. I hope you had a chance to read it! If not, you can see her post here.

I will be doing a very similar thing over the next 4 weeks, but I will be discussing with you what it really and truly looks like to be able to balance having a wonderfully intimate relationship with God and also still have time for all of your important activities.

Being a teen, you are BUSY… I know! If you’re like my teens, you might have a few things on your plate like…..

  • church
  • family (maybe even in 2 houses…)
  • school
  • a job
  • sports
  • work
  • serving
  • hobbies
  • friends
  • boyfriend
  • ____________________

 

SO……. How DO you balance your relationship with God and other things in your life????

Well, you MUST be spending time with the Lord every single day! I am talking real, quality, in-the-Word time with God. Hopefully, you have a parent or other family member at home who has modeled this for you. If not, it’s okay….. Coleen will be going over this with you on her blog for the next 4 Saturdays. You can also be talking about this in our secret Facebook GCH:decaf fellowship group!!!

What else do you need to get and maintain this balance? Here are a few things we will be discussing over the next 4 weeks….

  • Take God with you throughout your day
  • Give your schedule to God
  • Accountability
  • Values vs. priorities

I do hope that you will take this journey with me over the next 4 weeks! I would love for you to be able to not only protect your time with God but also be able to feel confident about all of the other aspects of your life that are important to you. If you can learn this now, you will be amazed at how much easier life will be as more and more responsibilities get put on you as you continue to get older. This will be instrumental in helping you to not just be a FAN of Jesus…. but be one AMAZING FOLLOWER!!!!

Let’s Pray…

Dear Lord, thank You for giving each of us such big hearts for You. Help us as we begin to intentionally make time to deepen our relationship with You every day. Give us all that time back in our day for Your glory, Lord. Help us balance all of the demands of our time and begin helping us to discern what activities or demands on our time might not be what You have for us in this season. We love You and thank You for this, God! Amen.

Blessings to you all,

Megan 🙂

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If you are interested in more information about GCH:decaf, email us at: GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

If you would like to send a personal message to Megan, you may email her at: Megan@girlfriendscoffeehour.com

 

 

Seeking Him by Coleen Hayden

Jeremiah 29:13

 

All this week, we have been ‘listening’ to interviews between our bloggers and some of our girls. I have loved it…haven’t you? It has helped me to learn a little bit more about Vicky, Tristan, Rebekkah, Rachel and Zinni…as well as about Mama Teresa, Jordan, Miss Tonya, Miss Diane, and Miss Edwina, too! We have heard them talk about music, clothes, movies, and food amongst other things. And we were privileged to hear each of them share about a special life-changing thing that has occurred in their lives.

They learned about each other through relationship. In order to have and maintain a relationship two people need to spend time together (yes, online DOES count!)…they need to speak AND listen…they need to consider what the other has said.

All of this has caused me to think about our exciting new study looming on the horizon…and about being a follower of our Lord Jesus, NOT a fan! Through the Bible, I can learn so much about just WHO my Lord is…and WHAT He has accomplished. AND I can learn even more about my Lord through my relationship with Him! We need a relationship with Him! We need to speak to Him AND to listen to Him. We need to consider, to ponder, to meditate on His words. One way I know to do this is to spend time with my Lord. In ‘Christian-ese’ some folks call this a ‘quiet time’ or ‘devotions.’

So, inspired by the interviews we’ve heard about this week, I asked to ‘interview’ some of the ladies here at GCH:decaf. I offered 3 questions about their own quiet time/devotional time. May I share their responses with you? (Prepare to be blown away…I’m just sayin’!)

Question 1: Would you please tell me a little about YOUR quiet time?

  • I shut off all my phones and the TV.
  • It’s pretty much only in the morning that I do.
  • I found that if I read or listened to the chapters before I got out of bed in the morning…it set the tone for my day.
  • I try to have some sort of quiet time all day long with God. I try to be in communication with Him always.
  • Sometimes I will just start to sing…other days I start by listening to praise music.
  • I turn on some praise music…nice and low at first. I begin by singing…my own song…my own words…never the same.
  • I like to listen to Christian music…it helps to focus my thoughts and I have worship time then as well.

Question 2: Do you have a favorite devotional (printed, digital) that you enjoy?

  • I have a digital devotional on my phone that I read…from Rick Warren, and Joyce Meyer (*a few ladies read devotionals on their phones).
  • I’ve never really done any devotionals by myself really.
  • My favorite devotional is which ever Bible study we are working on at that time.
  • I tend to favor writings by pastors like Max Lucado, David Jeremiah, Charles Stanley and now Kyle Idleman.

Question 3: How does this time each day help you to remain a follower…not a fan?

  • Usually helps me to remember who He is, how powerful He is, how loving He is, and how blessed I am that I am His!!
  • It keeps me from being a person who SAYS she’s a Christian when her life doesn’t show it. I want my works to prove that I am…while also knowing & keeping in mind that works don’t save me.
  • The time I spend reading the Word, listening to music, listening for the voice of God in my life teaches me about the character of God and who He is. I not only know about Him, I KNOW Him.
  • Basically God is always there and being in communication with him all day long reminds me of that. Then, when I get my alone quiet time with Him in the Bible that is when He really speaks to me and teaches me new things through His word.

As you can easily see, by the examples of these ladies, having a daily quiet time is oh-so-important! If you already faithfully do this, I venture to say you can hardly imagine a day without it. If you have enjoyed a quiet time as part of your daily routine in the past…and would like to resume it…jump back in; you KNOW you want to! If you have been considering beginning the discipline of having a quiet time, try it with us for the next month.

Each Saturday for the next four weeks, we will look in-depth at a few of the important aspects of having a dedicated, purposeful quiet time. Gathering from the experiences our friends have shared, there seem to be a few basics which include:

  • Bible reading
  • Prayer
  • Praise Songs
  • Meditation
  • Seeking the Lord

Praying for each of you!  I know that the Lord will answer your heart’s cry as you seek Him with all your heart!

<3  coleen



If you are interested in more information about GCH:decaf, email us at: GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.

If you would like to send a personal message to Coleen, you may email her at: Coleen@girlfriendscoffeehour.com