Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

Don’t Give Up

Do you ever get tired of doing what you believe God called you to do? Do you wonder if maybe that season is over, or perhaps you imagined the whole thing? Many times we are EXACTLY where we are supposed to be, right in the center of God’s will for our lives, doing EXACTLY what He has prepared us to do. Hang in there!

don't get weary

 

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Quiet Time with a Little Help from my Friends

Bible study

A few weeks ago I asked for input from my friends and readers about the logistics of their prayer and quiet time. I like to do that in the morning, but I’m very slow to “rise to the surface” and be able to hold a conversation with the Lord (or anyone else) or to read anything that requires much thought, which I believe a quiet time should do. Then you know how it is after work, trying to take care of all the home stuff. Consequently, my prayer life is not what it should be.

So, thinking that surely I’m not the only one facing this kind of challenge, I put out an SOS and consulted my Board of Directors! … Here’s what I got back. And please, if you have something that works for you, leave it in the comments. Even if you think it’s simple and VERY obvious– it’s not! Sometimes we need a V8 moment to make us see a very simple thing.

Lisa at Deep and Wonderful Thoughts shared this:

Hey there! Here is my first post. It’s very short, but conveys a picture and a message on prayer and the bible. http://deepandwonderfulthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/solar-powered/ I hope it helps.
Have you ever heard of BSF (Bible study Fellowship)? It is a daily bible study and a world wide organization. Fabulous! That is what I do. There are 6 day’s questions and on the 7th day, we discuss them as a group. Here is a link….if you’re interested. http://preview.bsfinternational.org/about

Denise at Rejoycin’ said:

Hi,
(1) Group support is always good, At different times I have been involved in meeting with a bible study group and we selected a topic book to guide us– sometimes videos.

(2) Otherwise, I love this link for options:
http://www.esvbible.org/devotions/
There are numerous options that you can browse through to see what interests you. Perhaps start with a short devotion, such as “Daily Proverbs” for 31 Days. Currently, I have been using “Daily Light on the Daily Path” which is very rich.

Unfortunately, I haven’t done cover to cover– although I tried numerous times. I wind up picking up a (3) Jack Hayford study book and doing a topic study or choose a book and use:

(4) Pastor Chuck Smith Commentaries… love this guy!!!!
http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_author.cfm?AuthorID=1

If you decide you would like a partner or online accountability group, I am game.
Online seems to work for me that is why I like #2, the esvbible.org/devotions… you can write online and take notes in your online bible. ESV has become my base bible after much research is choosing.

From Sarah Tun at A Life Examined:

Honestly, to grow prayer time and depth, I find rising early best… when the house is quiet and there are fewer distractions. God meets us whenever, wherever we are, if we’ll just engage with Him.

Linda from  Life Station Express shared:

Early on, back in the day, yes I believe it was the late 80′s or early 90′s we had a woman come speak at a women’s conference at our church. Her name…Joyce Meyer. Yes, before she became JOYCE MEYER!!!   Ha ha, well she said something in her teaching that I never forgot. She said she would get so upset when she couldn’t keep a rigid bible reading schedule for herself. Beating herself up when she just couldn’t get it all in at the proper time each day.
She said that she finally learned that for some folks reading in the morning works, for others, evenings, and still for others, before bed. Some used a bible study format, others used daily reading guides and yet others read as lead. Whenever, whatever, however, it matters not. What does matter, is that you spend some time in reading and prayer with the Lord.
Some of us need that rigid schedule and that is fine, for others going at it a bit more freely is ok too. I fall into the second category, but respect those who meet with the Lord at a scheduled time each day.
Taking God along with me as I go face the day is imperative! Spending time with Him also. But how I do it often varies with the day too.
Hope this helps! He wants our heart, our time and our life. How we work that out is important to Him too. He embraces our desire to be with Him each day.
Thanks for the great posts! Linda

Lori, an IRL friend and coworker said this:

Hey Melinda- I have always struggled with a quiet time also. I think almost everyone struggles with a structured quiet time. Recently my husband and I started a study with 12 other people called “Masterlife.” it has completely helped! Thats not to say some of the others I’ve been through we’re not fantastic. I loved Ruth by Kelley Minter.  There is so much I could write but I will stop before it gets too long.

My brilliant son-in-law (I’m being serious, not sarcastic) shared his way:

Go to: usccb.org and read the Catholic Mass readings for the day
Go to: dailyscripture.net and read a reflection on those readings
Go to: http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/daily.html to read another reflection on those reading
Go to: http://www.loyolapress.com/daily-inspirations.htm to read one final short reflection on those readings
 Then I spend about 10-12 mins meditating, usually on something from the readings (new 2013 practice that really helps me stay centered)
 Then I read email reflections that my mom forwards: one from Proverbs 31 ministries and one from Girlfriends in God. 
 Works very well for me.

(Back to Auntie Em) And isn’t it funny how God works? Right after I asked for suggestions, a friend posted on Facebook that she wanted to start a FB Good Morning Girls group. I’ve seen their studies and glanced over their SOAP method, but have never done one. So I took the hint from God and signed up! We are starting next Monday morning.

Thank you so much to everyone who shared! My prayer is that we will all find SOMETHING that works for us… and remember, that ultimately, God is our Heavenly Father who loves us. We don’t have to use a system or ritual; we just need to plug in to our Source of life and power, regularly, and with intention.

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Bib or Apron?

  Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?

1 Corinthians 3:1-3

Our preacher did it again– he teaches the Word and applies it! He asked, “Are you wearing a bib or an apron?” And while he was applying the Scripture to immature Christians, I of course immediately said, “That applies to marriage too!”

Many marriage problems are not marriage problems at all, but are people problems. I’m continually harping on the fact that people — we — are naturally selfish. Look at a baby. Does it care that you have slept only 4 hours? Is it concerned that you have 2 other children to care for? Of course not! What about later, when he is expected to share? Does it come naturally? Not for most children. But hopefully, as a child grows older, it learns to be less self-centered and more others- centered. When two emotionally mature adults marry, they still have problems that any other married couple have, but they can work through them.

Brother Chuck mentioned 4 characteristics of immature Christians, and they are the same for immature spouses.

  • They are unable to digest the “meat” of the Word and were stuck in the elementary lessons. Immature spouses are unable to unable to digest the “meat” of real relationships, including the challenges that come along with them. Instead, they withdraw, either physically or emotionally.
  • They are incompatible with their spouse. Jealousy and quarrels abound. Remember that Godly marriages have a supernatural enemy who hates God and us, and wants anything glorifying God to fail. When we fight with one another, we can’t fight him. He doesn’t even have to fool with us because we’re not a threat to him.
  • They are unstable, tossed to and fro depending on the mood of the day or the advice of whomever they are talking to.
  • They are irresponsible. Any marital problem is laid at the feet of their spouse; it’s never their fault!

apron     princess bib edited

What are you wearing today?

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