Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Memory Verses #1

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

2 Peter 1:3
seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence

Proverbs 11:14
Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Jeremiah 17:9
"The heart is more deceitful than all else
   And is desperately sick;

Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Ephesians 4:29
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear

Matthew 12:34
For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

Ephesians 4:1-3
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Colossians 3:12-17
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Should I Give Money To Homless Panhandlers? -by John Piper

"Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you" (Matthew 5:42).

I confess, I have not always obeyed this command.

I'm a veteran urban-dweller. Having lived in an inner city neighborhood for 18 years, I've encountered many beggers and borrowers. Some I discerned as cons I have called out or waved off. Some I have hired to do work. Others I've given to because I felt the conviction of this text.

I've thought a lot about this command of Jesus over the years. I've discussed it with many. I think I know all the major reasons why not to give when someone asks. You don't want to encourage deception. You don't want to feed a chemical addiction. You don't want to contribute to someone's cycle of poverty. And there are many others.

But still this text unnerves and convicts me.

The reason is that Jesus doesn't give this command in the context of addressing how I can best facilitate transformation in someone else. He is telling me how I should respond to those who are making demands on me, either from explicitly evil motives or just plain out of their difficult situation. He is telling me how I ought to respond even when being taken advantage of.

* Do not resist the evil person, he says. Let him slap you twice. (v. 39)
* Give him more than he is suing you for. (v. 40)
* Do more than he is forcing you to do. (v. 41)
* Give to those who ask. (v. 42)
* Love your enemy. (v. 44)

Jesus is telling me to actively show kindness and radical generosity toward those who hate me or who are seeking to take advantage of me.

Really, Jesus? Isn't that rewarding sinful, or at least unhealthy, behavior?

Of course, I can think of Biblical examples that illustrate when it seems right to resist or flee an evil person in situations of theft, deception, abuse, persecution, war, etc. So when the Word speaks, I must listen carefully, and I must weigh all of his words.

But from the words Jesus speaks here, I think it applies more often and more broadly than I want it to. He does not let me off the hook easily. He tests my heart with such radical love. And in my heart I see my selfish, unloving impulses that do not want to part with my money, possessions, time, or convenience for needy or evil people. And I have a ready arsenal of noble-sounding rationales that conceal my sin, almost from myself.

What Jesus is calling me to is gospel love. It's the love that drove him to die for me with when I was still a weak, ungodly, sinful enemy of his (Romans 5:6-10). There is something about such over-the-top, radically generous love that is so different from the way the world loves that it reflects the Father's love for sinners. It's why Jesus calls us also to costly love. It is both an expression and picture of the gospel.
- John Piper

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Accountability Questions!

Heather's accountability questions for her small group.
Thanks Heather!!!

1. Have you spent daily time in the scripture and prayer?
2. Have you had any flirtatious or lustful attitudes, tempting thoughts, or exposed yourself to any explicit materials, which would not glorify God?
3. Have you been completely above reproach in your financial dealings with God and with man?
4. Have you spent quality relationship time with family and friends?
5. Have you shared the gospel with an unbeliever this week?
6. Have you told any half-truths or outright lies, or done something to place yourself in a better light to those around you?
7. Have you allowed any unwholesome talk, slander, gossip or hard words to pass your lips?
8. Have you taken care of your body through daily physical exercise and proper eating and sleeping habits?
9. Have you allowed any person or circumstance to rob you of your joy?
10. Have you lied in any of your answers today?

This is a list which CJ Mahaney included in his book "Why Small Groups" from something that Samuel Wesley used in the 1700's.

Introductory/Heart Condition Questions:
1) Have you peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ?
2) Do you desire to be told of your faults?
3) Do you desire that every one of us should tell you, from time to time, whatsoever is in our heart concerning you?
4) Consider! Do you desire that we should tell you whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, whatsoever we hear, concerning you?
5) DO you desire that, in doing this, we should become as close as possible, that we should cut to the quick, and search your heart to the bottom?
6) Is it your desire and design to be on this, and all other occasions, entirely open, so as to speak everything that is in your heart, without exception, without disguise, and without reserve?

Weekly Accountability Questions:
1) What known sin have you committed since our last meeting?
2) What temptations have you met with?
3) How were you delivered?
4) What have you thought, said, or done, of which you doubt whether it be sin or not?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Spiritual Care Plan

Assessment- Evaluate problem areas in your life. Choose one problem area to do a care plan on. What is the evidence that this is a problem in your life? Ask others to evaluate your life.

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
Diagnosis- What is the sin?

Heart Issue- What is the deeper heart problem?

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? "I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds."

Renewing your Mind and Renewing Your Actions:
(A) Outcome Identification (B) Action Plan

Renewing Your Mind-
A. How does your mind/heart need to change in order for your actions to change? How can your thinking in this area glorify the Lord?
B. What is your plan to make that change happen? This will always include making a list of scriptures and scripture reading and/or memorizing. How will you be held accountable for renewing your mind? Are there any books to read or sermons to listen to on this specific sin?

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Psalm 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

Renewing your Actions-
A. Summarize what your life should look like in this area and in what time frame.
B. What specific things will you do to accomplish the desired outcome and when.

I Corinthians 9:27 I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Evaluation- How is it going? Do you need to change your plan? Was your outcome identification realistic? Are you being successful to renew your mind? Are you beginning to think differently?


Spiritual Care Plan: Laziness- By Jennifer Lyon, 2008

Assessment: I am a stay at home mom with only two children who are very good and easy children. My house is not clean. My to do list is long and has been that way for a long time. I start things and don’t finish them. I procrastinate my household chores. My husband isn’t getting the attention I should be giving him, his laundry is often not done and ironed when he needs it.

Diagnosis- Laziness.

Heart issue- Selfishness

Renewing my Mind:
A. Outcome Identification
My heart should desire, every minuet of every day, to be fruitful and effective for the Lord’s Kingdom more than I desire to appease my flesh and do things that are “idol” or have no eternal value.
I should desire to love and serve my family above having my own time of rest and relaxation.

B. Action Plan
I will read through the scriptures every morning that pertain to laziness and glorifying God with my time. I will have my accountability partner hold me accountable to doing this.
I will continue my time in the word and time in prayer, asking God to strengthen me against the temptation to be lazy.
Any time I feel the temptation to be lazy I will reflect on the gospel, and worship God for what he has done for me on the cross. I will think about how short our life really is and how much I want to do for the Lord. I will remind myself that maybe this will be my last day here on Earth.

Renewing My Actions
A. Outcome Identification
Within one week I should have a routine scheduled on paper where all my time is taken up by important things in the order that my priorities should be. I will have scheduled rest time and stick to those scheduled times instead of resting whenever I feel like it.
In two weeks my house should be organized down to the closets
Everyday this week Justin should get all his laundry done, and meals nicely prepared
Everyday this week I should spend at least ½ hr in prayer and ½ hr studying the Word (as planned into my written out schedule.

B. Action Plan
I will go to bed at a reasonable hour (by 11pm) to be able to
get up at 7am.
I will start tomorrow and everyday for a week I will write down what I am doing and how long it takes me on the essential things in my schedule. At the end of the week I should have a routine scheduled on paper. I will schedule in the periods when I will rest during the day.
I will begin by tomorrow organizing the hall coat closet, and Tuesday I will work on the bedroom closet and Wed I will do the bathroom and bedroom hall closets. Thurs and Friday I will organized the Laundry room and kitchen closet/drawers.
I will do laundry every time the hamper fills up
I will start a dinner list tomorrow morning and go to the store and reserve the time each day to make what I have planned.
I will have my core group and phone buddy keep me accountable for spending the time in the Word and prayer I will ask God everyday this week to help me be productive for Him. I will write out my schedule tonight. I ask my phone buddy to keep me accountable to sticking to my schedule.


Ephesians 5:15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

Proverbs 6:9
Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise,
7Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, 8Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest. 9How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? 10"A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest"-- 11Your poverty will come in like a vagabond And your need like an armed man.

Proverbs 20:13
13Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.

Proverbs 19:15
15Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger.

Proverbs 22:13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside; I will be killed in the streets!"

Proverbs 20:4The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.

Proverbs 12:11He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.

Proverbs 10:26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy one to those who send him.

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, But the soul of the diligent is made fat.

Proverbs 19:24 24The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, But will not even bring it back to his mouth.

Proverbs 15: 19The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns, But the path of the upright is a highway.

Matthew 25 :14-30 Parable of the talents
26"But his master answered and said to him, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.
27'Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.
28'Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.'
29"For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.
30"Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Other Helpful Thoughts:
Sluggard- The Character and Cure of It
Sleeps Irresponsibly
Makes excuses
Spends time on worthless activities
Self-neglect/craves and gets nothing
A Sluggard is someone who is lazy, has no ambition, doesn’t work
Results of Laziness- hunger, lack of energy, slothful, habitually lazy
Indolent= avoiding and disliking all work
*It is easier to prevent laziness than to correct it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sara: 16 Months Old Today!

Happy 16 month birthday to our little Sara Bear!
Sara's nick names: Sara Bear, the bear, buggie boo, nugget (Kalena likes to call her "Saria" Im not sure where that came from :)
Sara is growing up so fast and we are so blessed by her beautiful little smile and deviously funny personality! She is scrumptiously squishy and kissable. Sara is always wanting to play a game (usually peek-a-boo or tickle monster), always wanting to laugh and smile, always wanting some "Yum Yumms" (something to eat), and always wanting to climb higher on top of things and open things. Everything she sees Kalena doing she tries too. She is tough, and not easily scared. Kalena often times "huggs" Sara but it is more of a tackle that sends them both to the floor and Sara usually loves it. Often throughout the day Kalena will make a noise or do something silly that will make Sara laugh. They will repeat whatever is funny hundreds of times, laughing more and more each time. Sara Loves Kalena always wants to play in the same room with her.

Another nick name of Sara's is trouble. She loves to get into all kinds of trouble whether getting stuck in a drawer, or emptying a drawer, she is always up to something. I have caught Sara ontop of many things in our house: boxes, chairs, a kids table, and recently she loves to climb inside the bathtub and play with the toys when there is no water in it. As I type she just got stuck in the laundry hamper but managed to get out without help. When we were in a hotel just this past month, I heard her crying and peeked from the bathroom to the main room where I left Sara on the Bed. Sara was on top of a fairly tall nightstand, fighting for space with a big lamp. My camera was right on the bed, and surprisingly I was able to get a pic then grab her before anyone/thing got injured :)

Sara is about 29 inches tall and weighs about 23 lbs. She wears size 4 diapers.

Sara's Favorite Foods: cereal, malt-o-meal, fruit (esp Bananas), chicken, spaghetti

Sara's favorite Books: Elmo Peek-a-Boo, Pat the Bunny, Baby's First Words

Sara can now say: Mommy, Daddy, yea, no, yumm yumm, uhh ohh, oooouuuch, boo boo, I wa (I want- we are working on changing that to "may I"), sippy, ba boo (bottle), book, shoe, ball, bubbles, apple, Mo Mo (elmo), hello? (when she picks up a cell phone), bye bye, puppy, side (meaning outside), and she says the noises for a sheep (baaa baaa), puppy (arf), Kitty (meowww), fish (blub blub?) and cow (mooo). There may be more, I feel like she says something new every day. I am positive she tried to say strawberry yesterday!

Sara has a fascination with headbands, hats and hoods. I find her often walking around the house with a headband or hat on and is is delighted when you hand her something that is clearly for her head. She gets real excited and works for a long time to get it just right on her head. My best head band story so far is from today. I was in the hardware store looking at the vacuums. I knew the girls were right at my feet but I hadn't glanced at them in a couple minuets. When I looked down, Sara had ripped open a plastic bag containing a small vacuum belt (I guess that was what it was.. rubber) and had put it on her head like a headband. It was a perfect fit! She was very pleased with herself :)

Sara is a snuggle bear! She loves to cuddle. Our bed time routine is so sweet and one of my favorite parts of the day. We get into the rocking chair with a bottle and/or book and rock and cuddle. Then I lay her in her crib. Sara usually doesn't cry at bedtime, she just lays down, sucks her thumb and looks up at me. I rub her head, belly and legs for several minuets (usually i give her little legs a squeeze to make her giggle, she is extremely ticklish), then say "night night Sara, I love you." She is asleep within minuets.