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Your Dot and Your Dash and Your Line

So I was talking to an iron-sharpens-iron-friend at our ladies prayer
group last Friday. She told me how she admonishes her kids about their dot. She reminds them that in their dot, they have a dash. And this dash is all we get to affect the line God has given us. What you do with your dash in your dot affects the line. Your dot matters. Your dash matters.

The same thing applies to all of us. We only have one dot. Since we only have one dot, we must carefully choose how we will use our dash. We must hone our skills and pray for the Father to transform us into the image of His son so our dash will bear much fruit for the line.

  • Dot: the time God has appointed for us to live upon this earth. God has specifically chosen where and when you live. You get to choose the how. This life, in this space and this time, is your dot. “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.” Acts 17:26
  • Dash: the time between your birth and death. Your dash is the dash that will be on your tombstone. Example 19631999. Your dash is your life. How did you spend it? How did your live it? How did you use your time, talent and treasure? Did your pour it all out? Did you hold back? Did your hoard it all for yourself? Your life and what you do with it is your dash. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
  • Line:  this is God’s time, eternity. It’s the place where we live out our dot and dash. We each get a little dot on God’s line to use our dash. “In the beginning was the Word, and the word was God, and the Word was with God.” John 1:1

How effective we are with our dot and dash depends on how much we are in God’s Word. Are we doers of His Word and not hearers only? Are we obedient to His will? Are we sowing the seed of God’s Word into our situations and circumstances? “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

So let’s get busy with our dot and our dash and God’s line!

By Mary Kay Kane

All rights reserved.

Copyright 2019




Take 5! A Good Work

Let’s take 5 minutes and study about a good work from the word of God. Now, please get your journal and a pencil and lets get started! 

 

 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.

8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;

Philippians 1:6-10

What does God promise to do for you in verse 6?

I am very happy God is not finished with me yet. Be assured, who we are today is not who we will be next year or even next month. God constantly works to make us over into the image of Christ! And you are a good work! Amen!

According to verse 7, what does God give us?

Grace! Grace to believe all things, hope all things, bear all things, and become all things through Christ Jesus!

What does verse 9 say must accompany our love for Christ?

Why does love need knowledge and all discernment (see verse 10)?

How will knowing what is excellent keep us blameless until the day Christ returns?

As you finish your study time today, take a moment to thank God for all the excellent things you have in your life. Pray and thank God for how He is continuing His good work in you until the day of Christ Jesus.

Resources

Want more information on Philippians 1:6-10? Click on the links below to access an article or a podcast:

The One Who Began a Good Work

 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DuFnLzz1TX8

By Mary Kane

all rights reserved. copyright 2020




Take 5: Grace and Peace

Take 5 Bible studies are made for busy people who want to dive right in to Scripture. Get your Bible journal and pencil and let’s do Take 5: Grace and Peace. Please read the scripture below.



1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, 5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1: 1-5

How does Paul describe himself and Timothy in verse 1?

In the original Greek, the word bond-servant transliterates as doulos, which means one who gives up his will for the will of another.

What two things does Paul say come from God and Jesus?

 

Grace and peace only come from God and Jesus. God gives us grace through Jesus so we can be at peace with Him.

What does Paul do in verse 3?

 

What does Paul do for the Philippians in verse 4?

 

He prays for the Philippians. The word used for pray is deesis, which means a seeking or an asking. Deesis comes from the root word deo which means to bind or fasten. Prayer literally binds us together.

How do you participate in the Gospel?

 

Go back and read through our Take 5: Grace and Peace verses for today once more. In your journal, record one thing God wants you to do because of Philippians 1:1-5.

Chat with me!

Please share a comment on what you learned today from your study time. I’d love to chat with you!

By Mary Kane

copyright 2020. all rights reserved.

Try another Take 5! by clicking on the link below!

Take 5!:When in Rome

Something great Philippians preaching from Cru!

Philippians 1

 

 

 




Journey: shelter at home

Shelter at homeCovid 19 has brought many changes to life in America. During this unprecedented season many of us have had adult children move back to shelter at home. Amid times of stress and hardship sometimes there is no place like home sweet home.



Please get your Bible, journal and pen. Take a moment to quiet your heart before God and ask Him to teach your through His Holy Word.

journey home

Please read Ruth 1:1-7.

In the days when the judges judged, there was a famine in the land. A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to live in the country of Moab with his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab and lived there. Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her two sons.

They took for themselves wives of the women of Moab. The name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other was Ruth. They lived there about ten years. Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband. Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab; for she had heard in the country of Moab how Yahweh had visited his people in giving them bread. She went out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her. They went on the way to return to the land of Judah.

Who left Israel to go to Moab (vs 1-3)?

With whom did Naomi leave Moab to return to Israel (vs. 7)?

Why did Naomi decide to return to Israel?

come on home

Go back and read verse 6 again. Go back to verse 6 again and make note in your journal of a few important words from this verse.

The word arose used in this verse is from the Hebrew word quwm which means be clearer, confirm, ordain, strengthen, to stir up. The use of this word indicates that Naomi makes a a definite decision to return to her homeland.

But this was not a decision Naomi made on her own. Quwm also means to denote the inevitable occurrence of something predicted or prearranged (Strong, 1996). From the definition of this word we see God is at work in Naomi’s heart, strengthening and stirring up her soul for the return trip to Bethlehem so she could go back and shelter at home.

return home

Take another look at verse 6. The Hebrew word used for return is shuwb which means call, convert, deliver, draw back, fetch home again, rescue. Again we see evidence that God is at work behind the scenes to bring Naomi back to Bethlehem.

Using what you’ve learned from the definitions of arose and return, please rewrite Ruth 1:6 in your own words in your journal.

why return home?

Why was God going through all this trouble to bring Naomi and her daughters back home? Please open your Bible and read Matthew 1:1-16.

Whose family line is recorded in Matthew 1:1?

What familiar woman’s name is recorded in Matthew 1:5?

The wonderful sovereignty of God! A Hebrew family willingly leaves the Promised Land to live in Moab. God not only calls Naomi back to Bethlehem, but He uses this event to further His will. Ruth is part of the family line of Christ!

shelter at home

How about you? Have you wandered far from God? If You have God is working right now, behind the scenes to quwm your heart so you will shuwb back where you belong to shelter at home with Him.

What’s one thing you need to do now so you can return to shelter at home with God?

You do not have to wait until you clean up our act, get it together or fix yourselves up before you go home. Naomi sure didn’t. She returned home empty and broken. But she was wise enough to return. Run home now. God is waiting for you to shelter at home with Him.

How are you sheltering with God during this season? Please leave me a comment below. I’d love to chat with you!

copyright 2020. all rights reserved.

For more information on sheltering at home, please click on the links below:

Moody Bible Sheltering at Home

Focus on the Family: Corona Virus Quarantine

Please click below to access parts of this study:

Day 1: Journey, Shelter in Place

Day 2: Journey, A Good Name

 




Journey: A Good Name

The birth of a baby is a joyous event! The parents to-be spend hours preparing the nursery, buying baby paraphernalia, baby-proofing the house and most importantly, choosing a good name. Today our Bible study focuses on the meaning and importance of names.

Please take a moment to pray and ask God to open prepare your heart to receive His word. Get your Bible, journal and pen!

Please read Ruth 1:1-5 out loud.

 In the days when the judges judged, there was a famine in the land. A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to live in the country of Moab with his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab and lived there. Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her two sons. They took for themselves wives of the women of Moab. The name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other was Ruth. They lived there about ten years. Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband.

A good name

Like modern day parents, names were also very important to the ancient Hebrew people. However, the Hebrews believed that names not only identified a person, but also represented the character of the person.

What is Naomi’s husband’s name?

The name Elimelech is a combination of two Hebrew words that mean my God is king. Elimelech’s name is a reminder that God is king  and sovereign over every event, even famine. Like Elimelech, we need to remember the meaning of God’s good name and shelter in place during times of trouble.

A few more good names

Read verse 2 again.

Who is Elimelech’s wife?

In Hebrew, Naomi translates as pleasant, splendor, grace, beauty. Naomi faces a great challenge to live up to her good name during a time of hardship and loss.

What un-pleasant thing is Naomi trying to face with grace?

Like Naomi, what un-pleasant hardships are you trying to face with grace?

A good name changed

Please skip ahead and read read Ruth 1:20.

She said to them, “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

What did Naomi change her name to and why?

Do you think Naomi has reason to be bitter?

Do you think Naomi has reason to continue trusting God?

Why should we continue to trust God during hard times?

Good names?

As a teacher I sometimes wonder about the names parents choose for their children. Cinderella. Pumpkin. Steelie. Why? But Naomi and Elimelech win the What were they thinking? prize.

Look back and remind yourself of the names of Naomi’s sons.

Mahlon translates from the Hebrew as sick, weak, worn, afflicted. Chilion means pining, destruction, failing. I’d like to ask Naomi why she chose such strange names for her children. Can you imagine being married to Afflicted or Destruction? ( Well…I dated a few “Destructions” in my day.)

No other information is given about Afflicted or Destruction in the rest of Scripture. It’s likely sickness may have been a factor in the deaths of the brothers. They seem to have “lived-up” to the meaning of their names.

One more good name

While every thing seems to be going wrong for Naomi, one thing was going right. Ruth. In Hebrew Ruth translates as friendship, companion. In the middle of loss and heartbreak, God provides Naomi with a friend.

What encouragement do you draw from God’s provision of Ruth to Naomi?

 

Give an example of a time when God provided you with a friend during a time of heartbreak.

 

One last name

We have one more name to consider, Orpah (not Oprah!). In the original Hebrew Orpah means gazelle, or mane. Orpah descends from other Hebrew words which mean back of the neck, obstinate, to seize, to pull. 

What insight is God giving you about Orpah and her name?

A little bit later in our study we will see how Orpah’s name may be a precursor of her future actions.

Thank you for joining me today for Bible study! As always please leave me a comment below in the comment section. I’d love to chat with you!

copyright 2020. all rights reserved

To learn more about Ruth and the importance of names, please click on the links below!

Journey: shelter in place

Behind the Name




Psalm 23 Remix

PPsalm 23 Remixsalm 23 is one of the the most well-known parts of the Bible. People who do not claim to be religious can quote parts of Psalm 23. Christians have become so familiar with this beloved psalm we almost cease to hear it. What we need is a Psalm 23 remix- a fresh look at an oldie but a goodie!

Please read Psalm 23:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

Psalm 23 remix of promises.

The remix promise of provision:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

When God is our shepherd we lack no good thing. He provides us with green pastures and still waters. Food and water. Like the sheep in Psalm 23, we find rest in Jesus when we partake of the food He provides, the Bread of Life, and the Living Water.

The remix promise of presence:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me.

God is with us through it all. Often we think when we face our toughest times that we walk alone. But God promises that when we face the shadow of death, we need not fear because we find safety in a different shadow, the shadow of His wings. Jesus has over come death, the death of hopes, the death of dreams, the death of relationships, and He is an expert at raising things from the dead.

The remix promise of purpose:

You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Before David became king, Samuel anointed David’s head with oil. God also instructs that every tool and element of the temple be anointed with oil before it’s used. Even the priests are anointed with oil  before they begin their holy work. Our times of suffering and struggle can be a sign from God that he is anointing us for a new work for His kingdom.

The remix promise of protection:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

No one enjoys struggling with enemies. I have had seasons of life when it seemed my enemies were draining me of time, resources, health and peace. But God meets us in the very presence of our enemies and nourishes us through His provisions. God uses painful seasons to prosper us not harm us. And our enemies can only sit back and watch.

Let’s Chat!

Please leave me a comment below in the comment section. I’d love to chat with you about your thoughts on Psalm 23!

All rights reserved. Copyright 2020

For more info on Psalm 23 please click on the links below!

Short and Sweet: Psalm 23

Joyce Meyer: Psalm 23, Part 1

 

 

 

 

 

 




journey: shelter in place

The sky looked doubtful; the weatherman had forecast rain. Should I go or shelter in place? I glanced at the sky and decided to chance a walk anyway. I left the house and kept a watchful eye on the darkening sky.

drip. drip. drip.

Half way through my walk the rain began to fall. However, what started as a light sprinkle soon evolved into a summer shower. Up ahead I saw a dry spot in the road. An overhang of trees offered protection from the rain. As I hurried to the dry spot, I thanked God for providing a shelter in the storm.

shelter in place

The rain became heavier. As the heavens opened up, I was tempted to leave my safe haven and make a run for home. I considered my options, shelter or run. If I left my leafy shelter I would meet the full force of the storm head on. Despite the downpour, I was barely wet. My leafy shelter protected me from the worst of rain. I was still in the storm but protected from the storm. I decided to stay put and ride it out. 

shelter in Him

Life can be stormy. Often our first reaction to storms is to run. But God gives us opportunity to take Him up on His promise to  work all things for our good. If we shelter in Him, He decides what touches us, what gets through the leaves. Instead of dashing out into the storm, we need to shelter in place—in His Presence.

( Note: Even if we do run, God still has a plan to bring us back to Him)

Bible study

For the remainder of today’s Bible study we are going to read about a family who decided not to shelter in place but to run in the face of a storm. Get your Bible journal and a pen.

Let’s take a moment to pray.

Dearest Father, please open our hearts to your word and teach us Your truths. Help us to shelter in You during the storms of life. Amen.

Read Ruth 1:1-5.

In the days when the judges judged, there was a famine in the land. A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to live in the country of Moab with his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. They came into the country of Moab and lived there. Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left with her two sons. They took for themselves wives of the women of Moab. The name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other was Ruth. They lived there about ten years. Mahlon and Chilion both died, and the woman was bereaved of her two children and of her husband.

According to these verses who was leaving Bethlehem?

Why were they leaving Bethlehem?

Who joined Elimelech’s family after they reached Moab?

Reread Ruth 1:1 and fill in the missing information:

Now it came to pass _________________, there was a famine in the land.

The phrase when judges ruled refers to a time period from the death of Joshua to the start of the reign of King Saul. It was a time of chaos, idolatry and disobedience in the land of Israel. To get a little taste of this time when the judges ruled, read Judges 2:10-11

10 After all that generation were gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who didn’t know Yahweh, nor the work which he had done for Israel. 11 The children of Israel did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, and served the Baals.

Focus on verse 10.

Why do you think the generation that lived after Joshua did not know the Lord, nor the work which He had done for Israel? (See Deut. 6:5-9 for a hint!)

train them up

The importance of training our children in the Lord can hardly be over-stressed. As parents/teachers/mentors we have the incredible opportunity to impact not just the next generation but several generations to come. The choice is ours; shall we leave a legacy of faith or famine?

According to Ruth 1:1 what was in the land?

The famine was an outward sign of an inward condition of the heart.

Where were Elimelech and his family dwelling at the time of the famine (Ruth 1:1)?

In this present age, the idea of moving to another state or country is not unusual. Most people would quickly relocate to provide for their families when faced with hardship.  However, moving was not an acceptable option for the Hebrew people. For the people of Israel, to move outside of Israel was to leave the Presence of God.  As New Testament believers we have the privilege of God’s Presence in us. When we accept Christ as our Savior we are indwelt forever by His Holy Spirit. 

Amos 8:11 warns of another more dangerous type of famine. What is it?

How can we avoid this type of famine?

From time to time I have experienced seasons of famine in my life (a famine of relationship, a famine of peace, a famine of  hope). How about you?

The key to thriving during  a season of famine is not running or moving but sheltering in place, in God’s Presence and in His Word. 

The first step of your journey with Jesus is to stop running and shelter in place.

How can you shelter in place with Jesus during this season of life?

What message does have for you while you shelter with Him?

Please leave a comment in the reply section below. I’d love to chat with you!God bless!

 

 

all rights reserved. copyright 2020