CONNECTING "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news..."(Isaiah 52;7)

CONNECTING "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news..."(Isaiah 52;7)
Ankara, Turkey and Memphis, TN connect in Southaven, Mississippi

BIG M BRIDGE REMINDER

BIG M BRIDGE REMINDER
'Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you......and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.' Jeremiah 29:7

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

CHOOSE: SEEING

This entry could have easily have been entitled, Choosing Joy Again!
Interestingly enough, finding joy was Jesus Always entry for 2/17----the day I began choosing "my one word." No wonder my first thought was that "joy" would be my word. Sarah Young's latest devotional book, Jesus Always is all about embracing joy!
Young reminds readers that "joy can be found in the most unexpected places." 
One just needs to search for the "good" in life---to "see" joy. As she puts it, "Living joyously is a choice...and gladness must be chosen many times daily." (2/17)
Choose is my word because I want to keep on choosing "right living" as Proverbs shows.
Choosing is about seeing God's hand in our lives and trusting the outcome regardless of our trials and most difficult times.
Seeing His goodness requires focus. Focus requires "fixing one's eyes on Jesus." (Hebrews 12:2) Seeing Him. Regardless.
It's a choice!

Monday, February 20, 2017

CHOOSE: MY ONE WORD

"CHOOSE: MY ONE WORD." This entry title says it all for me. Literally.

My One Word, as Franklin Graham calls it, "is a refreshing approach to NewYear's Resolutions..."
Kyle Idleman calls it, a lens that can change every area of your life....more than a to-do list....more than a New Year's resolution.

It was a book that I had never even heard of until last Friday---a gift from visiting friend, Angie.
A book I have since devoured although the recommended approach is a slow one.
The premise is choosing one-word for your year's focus. Just one. The choosing occurs after prayerful consideration over a period of time. Friend and blog reader, Margie H, leaned over and said, "I bet your word is going to be joy." Actually that came to my mind as well.
After all, I blogged on January 1, "In 2017 may I choose joy!"

But God....obviously had a different word in  mind. It all started as I looked back at that very first entry. The fact that I even had continued blogging in 2017, is still somewhat of a mystery to me.
Being as OCD as I am, I began reading in order all the titles of "dotsydetails" entries since January 1. There was one word consistent in all 37 entries and it wasn't joy. The word was choose.
So many of my responses in life, even in my thought life, are of my own choosing. Though I'm not sure where all this word choice will take me as I begin to focus but the Lord has already provided a good foundation. Two verses will begin my "choose" project. The first is from Joshua 24:15, "Choose this day whom you will serve...."
The second verse is "Seek ye first the kingdom of God...."(Matthew 6:33) Though "choose" is not stated in the verse, to me, it is "understood." One must choose to seek. Seeking Him is a choice. God showed me that choosing to seek is a volitional concept of an intended action. In other words, by an act of my will, I make daily choices----whether of not I choose to seek Him first or to serve Him, the choice is always up to me. The ball of "choice" is in my court! I hope to share throughout the year what God teaches me as I focus on my single word choice!
Choose is "my one word." That word says it all for me for 2017.

Friday, February 17, 2017

CHOOSE: JOY'S RECIPE

Intentionality is the buzzword in today's culture. Be intentional about your life choices!

It's certainly true for me. If I don't "intentionally" choose items on a long weekly agenda, they get lost in the shuffle. 
Even as I have decided to choose joy as my "focus" this year, I need a daily reminder. Sometimes an hourly reminder. How does one schedule joy? Can't joy always be a spontaneous overflow? I don't have answers to my own questions....

......But God....has graciously shown me new "intentional "sources of  "joy" in notes from an old (NIV) Bible. Notes to remind me how joy can overflow from my "healthy thinking." Healthy thinking that is a result of renewing my mind in His word. This time "my" marginalia helped as well.

It's the same Bible I used Wednesday for blog entry from Psalm 19 and to pray for friends, and the Bible I used again yesterday, in Psalm 17, as I prayed for a dear friend. This morning, I "intentionally" chose my same ragged NIV Bible blog entry with verses from Psalm 16.

More notes found.....
.....Marginalia 9/20/2009 ---between cancer surgeries, notes from Jonathan Morrow's (I haven't a clue who J. Morrow is.) "5 Ingredient Recipe for Joy."
"Joy"
  1. Devotion. (Psalm 16: 2a)
  2. Gratitude. (Psalm 16: 2b)
  3. Surround self with others who trust God. (Psalm 16: 3)
  4. Our inheritance. (Psalm 16: 6)
  5. God's Guidance. (Psalm 16: 7-9)
Notes also included 2 ingredients NOT found in a JOY recipe.
One could label those as "Joy Killers."

1. Critical Spirit. (An inward critical spirit often overflows with complaint, is my thought.)
2. Unhealthy Thinking. (Joy flows from thinking, so don't interrupt the "joy flow!")

DO NOT Choose to add those ingredients into your life........
..........choose pure JOY instead!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

CHOOSE: SOUL FOOD

Have you ever had a "hankering" to once again taste a favorite food from times gone-by?
I have had such a hankering for "butter rolls." Peggy's and Madea's Restaurants have good ones BUT I have heard that Ellen's Soul Food has the best. I will let you know as I am trekking there today with friends.
I also "hanker" for soul food from old familiar passages in Scripture----wanting to "taste" them in a new way. Such has been the case this week as I've revisited Psalm 16, a fave of mine. 
I have been drawn back day after day and each time God gives me new insight. A new perspective on His tried and true words of old. Discovering something new, that wasn't new at all---just new in the way the words were now speaking to my heart. 
Tasting anew. Chewing on. Devouring in a new translation. 
Savoring. Verse by verse. Again and again.
I will always look to you, as you stand beside me and protect me from fear. With all my heart, I will celebrate, and I can safely rest.
(Psalm 16:8-9 CEV)
Spiritual soul food delighting my taste buds for truth from God's Word before I go for physical soul food from Ellen's.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

CHOOSE: REFLECTING ON GOD'S WORD

I just love it when I am praying scripture for others and God show's me hidden jewels.
Such was the case with this week's prayers for Uganda folks from Psalm 19 as I chose to "refresh" my recollections as I began reflecting on God's word. 
For me, refreshing during my times of meditation can come when reading God's word from a translation other than the translation I had been using at that moment. Thus ESV was starting point but NIV held the new treasures. 

NIV Marginalia. 
There in my ragged NIV (think much loved and much used) were NOTES!
Perfect notes for wordsmiths!
God reveals Himself through nature (v.1-6) and scripture. In verses 7-9 there are:
6 synonyms6 adjectives & 6 results for scripture revelation.

Synonyms: 
Law. Statutes. Precepts. Commands. Fear of the Lord. Ordinances.
Adjectives:
perfect. trustworthy. right. radiant. pure. sure.
Results:
reviving the soul,making wise the simple,giving joy to the heart,giving light to the eye,  enduring forever, 
altogether righteous (as theses decrees come together in making decisions for human situations.


The law of the Lord is perfect,
     reviving (refreshing, NIV 2011) the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The ordinances (decrees NIV, 2011) of the Lord are sure, (firm, NIV, 2011)
 and altogether righteous.

10) God's words....They are more precious than gold,  than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb......in keeping them is great reward! (Psalm 19:10-11, NIV, 1996---emphasis is the blogger's)

God's word in and of itself is "refreshing" in any translation. (NIV, 2011)

Knowing God for me comes when reflecting on His word. It's my best daily choice.

Marginalia---The more we (I) know God, the more (my) life should reflect Him. (Tim Lundy)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

CHOOSE: LOVE

Choose love and find joy!
Greeks had 6 words for love---3 of which were used in NT scripture.
Phileo love (deep friendship) John 12:25, Storge (like a family love) Romans 12:10, a combo of phileo & storge, and agape (unconditional, represented by God's love) John 3:16.
Hebrew definition for love in OT is 'ahabah (similar to GK Eros, romantic love) as depicted in Song of Solomon and Proverbs 5:18.

Today is a day to celebrate love. I celebrated with tea as I read cards & emails, and opened candy from loved ones.
I celebrate "morningtime" with tea. I love tea.
But God.....has shown me that "love" in scripture is not about inanimate objects.
In scripture, love is always the only kind of real love----relational.
So....I guess that excludes my cuppa. But.....I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY like my morning cuppa.
Happy Valentine's Day to all!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

CHOOSE: GOD'S GUIDANCE & GOD'S TIMING

BUMMER! That's what I thought when I saw that the MidSouth Food Bank Collection box had been removed from "my" Kroger. Of course, I can pay for meals at the grocery check-out but I had been purchasing food to "give" and the sacks were in my trunk.

But God....had me see national news on TV about communities having "blessing boxes" to share food in neighborhoods. So....I started "scouting" Memphis area for some. A recent article in Commercial Appeal highlighted one in Binghampton area that was restocked on weekends. So....I decided to try and locate it and take food in middle of week when they might be running low.

BUMMER! Last week as I was headed to dinner with two of my widow ladies along, seated comfortably in the back seat, we tried to locate said box. It was "dusk." We could not find it and I could sense uneasiness from the back seat!

But God....had hubby with me at Board of Education on S. Hollywood last Wednesday. After the meeting, and armed with his GPS, the "hunt" began again.  Voilà! We found it at intersection of Merton St. and Harvard. If I had realized it was in front of Caritas Village, I would have found it much sooner as I've been there several times. 
The door of the "Little Free Pantry" at 2509 Harvard Ave. (38112) was swinging open.
It was almost empty so my assumptions were right. 
Hm-m-m-m God must have had someone in need in mind for that day!
It's always the right time to help feed the hungry, whenever God guides you to them. (Matthew 25:35)

Friday, February 10, 2017

CHOOSE: TO REFLECT


Sorry for the inconsistency in today's entry title. Mostly, I've been using nouns and gerunds (verb forms which function as a noun) but today, only the infinitive phrase would do. That's what I want to continue choosing. Not reflection in general but "to reflect" Him in my life. To reflect in word and deed, the One who gave me life.
This simple reflection through my window pane onto the bottom kitchen cabinet brought up all this grammatical searching. Because of that, I changed the entry title from reflection  (noun)  to the  infinitive verb phrase to help me remember that this needs to be action, continuous action, in day to day choices of any believer.

And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)

Whatever happens, to conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27)



And to put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of God
(Colossians 3:10)

Believers everywhere, you, too, can choose "to reflect Christ. 


Thursday, February 9, 2017

CHOOSE: TEA WITH THEE

"Shall we have some tea and talk about it?"
Doesn't that sound as if it's from the mouth of Miss Marple or some other sleuth in an English cozy mystery? You know, the ones known for crimes "served" without sex and violence, which are so hard to find nowadays.
Tea is the British version of our  "chicken soup." 
For me, a black assam is my chosen morning cuppa and often it's served from a teapot kept warm by another type of cozy----those padded covers placed over the teapot to keep the tea hot. 

My morning cuppa is enjoyed with my Bible and journal open as I sip. Even a few devotional books are usually at hand. Some mornings are 2 cuppa mornings,  when I need extra tea and extra time to speak with the Lord about what's on my heart. It's also a time to search His word for answers and guidance, especially for others so dear to my heart. (Psalm 5:3)

It is a cozy time----there's no mystery to that. 

Tea with Thee aka a quiet time----a time to sit with the Lord and talk and pray about whatever is on my heart. 
It's the best choice of the morning.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

CHOOSE EXCITEMENT!

Wordsmith grammarians would probably think my "messing" with punctuation is a travesty. 
But....I learned a lesson a few years back......from a 5 yr. old. 
Ever the teacher, after reading aloud to grandson & pre-kindergartenerOwen, I asked him a question.
Notice I did NOT stop and ask a question while reading aloud! Such an interruption can ruin the integrity of the story, especially for a pre-schooler.
AFTER reading, I pointed to some different punctuations in the story and offered meanings----for a period, that means stop. I pointed to an ! and asked him what it was.

He replied, That one's easy----it's an excitement. (Out of the mouth of babes.)
 "Your exactly right I said." Adults call it an exclamation point but I like the name which you coined much better. To this day, I think "excitement" everytime I see an exclamation point!
Recently, I noticed while emailing a verse to 3 friends, who were ministering in Uganda, that I used an exclamation point where none was noted.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth. 1 CHRONICLES 16:31, KJV)
I automatically put ! at the end of "The Lord reigneth!" because I think that is exciting news. Later I discovered KJV translators, rarely, if ever, use exclamation points. So, what's the answer? Try the NIV or ESV versions.
And.....when reading the Bible or striving to live a God-shaped life..... 

...."Punctuate your life with excitements," as my grandson says!!!