Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

What Does the Bible Say About Gratitude?

Heem_Still_Life_with_a_Basket_of_Fruit

What does the Bible say about gratitude?  Here are some of our favorite verses.

Now, our God, we give you thanks,
 and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:14

That my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever! Psalm 30:12

I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you. Psalm 35:18

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 107:1

And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.” Isaiah 12:4-5

The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it 1 Corinthians 11:23

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, Philippians 1:3

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers Philemon 1:4

Betsy and Laurie

 

15 Surprising People Who Read the Bible

1-IMG_5810

  1. I read the Bible every day. Denzel Washington <Click to Tweet>
  2. The Bible is worth all the other books which were ever printed. Patrick Henry
  3. A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. Theodore Roosevelt
  4. I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God. Sir Isaac Newton
  5. I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. Abraham Lincoln <Click to Tweet>
  6. The first and almost only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. John Quincy Adams
  7. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. George Washington
  8. Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face. Ronald Reagan <Click to Tweet>
  9. All that I am I owe to Jesus Christ, revealed to me in His divine Book. David Livingstone
  10. I study the Bible daily. Sir Isaac Newton
  11. The New Testament is the very best book that was or ever will be known in the World. Charles Dickens <Click to Tweet>
  12. It has been my custom for many years to read the Bible in its entirety once a year. John Quincy Adams
  13. The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it. Napoleon
  14. Never a night goes by, be I ever so tired, but I read the Word of God before I go to bed. Douglas MacArthur
  15. Education is useless without the Bible. Daniel Webster 

Did any of these names surprise you? Are you a Bible reader?

Draw Near to God: Day 12

images-9

Day 12: Releasing Fear

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,

which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,

so the Lord surrounds his people

both now and forevermore.

Psalm 125: 1-2

We are fearful people and if we leave the comfort of what is familiar there is much to fear.  What does it mean in our lives that God surrounds us?  

Jerusalem was set in a saucer of hills.  It was the safest of cities because of the protective fortress these hills provided.  Just so is a person of faith surrounded by the Lord. . . People of faith have the same needs for protection as anyone else.  We are no better than others in that regard.  What is different is that we find that we don’t have to build our own. . . God is at our side.  Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.

One of the themes running throughout the entire Bible can be summarized in two words:  Fear not.  Angels spoke it as a greeting.  God commanded it from his people.  Jesus used it to comfort his fearful disciples.  No matter how out-of-control things appear, we are not to be afraid.  He is in control.  He will take care of us.  Max Lucado, Experiencing the Heart of Jesus

***

You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light
Whom shall I fear

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still
Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.

Chris Tomlin, Whom Shall I Fear

Can we see a move toward God as a move toward safety?  What would it mean in your life to conquer fear?

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

James 4:8

Draw Near to God: 30 Days of Readings

images-9

Draw Near to God

September 1 to September 30

The Psalms of Ascent

Psalm 120-134

Join us here as we share  some of our favorite readings to explore the Psalms of Ascent.

These fifteen Psalms were likely sung in sequence, by Hebrew pilgrims as they went up to Jerusalem to the great worship festivals.  Topographically Jerusalem was the highest city in Palestine, so all who traveled there spent much of their time ascending.  But the ascent was not only literal, it was also a metaphor, the trip to Jerusalem acted out a life lived upward toward God. Eugene Peterson

Over the 30 days of reading we look forward to “ascending” with you.

Let’s draw near to God together.

Betsy and Laurie

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

James 4:8

What Is Your Thorn?

Is there a thorn in your life?

“They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,
and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head.”
Matthew 27:28

image001

“The Crown of Thorns” Gustave Dore 1865

Thorns hurt us.  They are sharp and cause pain. Is there something in your life that you would call a thorn?

The Bible mentions thorns more than once.

  • Genesis 3:17-18  “Cursed is the ground because of you … It will produce thorns and thistles for you”  Thorns came to earth as a result of sin.
  • In Genesis 22 when Abraham offers his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice, God provides a perfect male, whose head was caught in thorn bushes.
  • In Exodus 3 when God speaks to Moses from a burning bush, it is a thorn bush.  God speaks from the bush, a symbol of sin,  and says, “I have seen the misery of my people … so I have come down to rescue them …”
  • In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about his thorn in the flesh.

Paul knew the scriptures well.  He knew the references to thorns.   He also knew of the crown of thorns placed on the head of Jesus.  Paul was an excellent writer and chose his words carefully. It is no accident that he uses a thorn to describe his problem.
We all are hurt by sin. Sometimes the sin is our own doing.  Sometimes it is inflicted from others.  Sometimes it is the sin of the fallen world around us – illness, disasters, death.

 “I have seen the misery of my people … so I have come down to rescue them …”
That’s a nice promise.

Do you have a thorn? Do you need a rescue?

 Jesus, give me the perspective today to see the thorns in my life.  Give me forgiveness for the sin that I see in myself. Give me the ability to forgive others for the pain that they have caused me through their sin.  Help me to trust you in spite of the pain in the world around me.  As I move toward Easter open my heart to understand the good of the cross.  Amen

Laurie and Betsy

The Writing Sisters

Preparing for Christmas

Christmas gifts.

Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Preparation is the action or process of making something ready for use or service.

Our grandfather was a man who came prepared for Christmas. He traveled from South Carolina to our home in West Virginia with suitcases full of gifts. A country ham was carefully packed it a separate bag with fried apple pies and Christmas cookies.

We would wait for him, four grandkids, our noses pressed against frosted windows looking for his car and listening for the honking horn that would begin at the bottom of the street, up the hill and into the driveway.

Our grandfather died at Christmas. He was on his way to West Virginia his bags packed when he passed away suddenly at the airport. All our preparations for Christmas stopped the festivities replaced by life’s interventions, a funeral, and taking care of all the details.

A few weeks after Christmas we helped to clean out his apartment. As we sorted through his books we found his Bible. We sat together on the floor of his closet surrounded by shoes and papers and flipping through the pages. Each chapter was covered with writing and underlining. Each page a testimony to what his faith meant to him.

Preparation for Christmas is more than wrapping gifts and baking cookies. Preparation is about the heart.

Our grandfather was a man who came prepared for Christmas.

Laurie and Betsy

And it will be said:

“Build up, build up and prepare the road!

Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”

Isaiah 57:14

 

The Power of Our Stories

If I want to get to know you I don’t look at a resume or the list of letters after your name.  If I want to get to know you I will listen to your stories. I can know about you from what people tell me, but knowing you comes from your stories. This way I can learn about your character and your heart.  I learn what you value and what you love.

We tell about ourselves every day through anecdotes and conversations.  We write our stories in blogs and emails.  We tell our stories indirectly through fiction. ( Yes, Little Bunny often has our same issues and reveals our inmost fears and feelings.) The stories we tell and write reveal who we are.

God reveals Himself through the stories in the Bible.  I can know about God from what people tell me, but knowing God comes from reading and valuing His stories. This way I can learn about God’s character and His heart.  I learn what He values and what He loves.

Stories move us. This is their power. Written stories are frozen voices that come to life when we read them. No other art form involves us in the same way—allows us to be with another human being—to feel joy when he laughs, to share her sorrow, to follow the twists and turns of his plotting and scheming, to realize her insufficiencies and failures and absurdities, to grasp the tools of her resistance—from within the mind itself. Such experience—such knowledge from within—makes us feel that we are not alone in our flawed humanity.” ~ Margaret Atwood

Are you telling your story today?  Are you listening, reading and valuing the stories of the people around you? Are you reading God’s stories?

What do stories mean to you?

Laurie and Betsy

Related Articles:

Writing With Insight

Writing With Healing