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Bible by the Numbers

 

My husband and my oldest son are fascinated by numbers (they’re both engineers). They call each other when their speedometers reach certain benchmarks such as 10, ooo, 22,222, 123, 456, or other worthy numbers. They even take pictures. They get excited about certain dates such as 09-10-11 and times like 11:11. Especially if it happens on 11-11-11. Not kidding. I know, they need intervention.

God is also interested in numbers. There is even a whole book of the Bible devoted to the subject.

What’s your favorite number?

Why do you like it?

Follow the link to Blue Letter Bible, do a quick search and see if your favorite number is mentioned in the Bible.

Did you learn anything new about your favorite number?

Whatever your favorite number, God wants you to be concerned with just one number. Number One. He is the One and only true God, and He wants us to love him with all out heart, soul, mind and strength.

How can you love Him today with all you heart?

with all your soul?

with all your mind?

with all your strength?

Focus today on the One thing that matter. Jesus, the one and only.

 

by Mary Kane

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copyright 2017




Simply Study: Simply Rest

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Simply Study

Short-term Bible studies for busy people.

We are glad you are joining us for a week of Bible study. Down below is your Bible study work for this week. Each day consists of two links—one link is the daily scripture reading. The other link is a short Bible study or devotional reading.

We suggest you follow the  steps below:

  1. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you insight and wisdom
  2. Read the scripture portion first
  3. Do the Bible study or devotion
  4. Comment on what you learned from your study time.

Finally, to deepen your experience, ask a couple of friends to join you. You can start a small Bible study group at your house or favorite cafe. God will bless you for the time you spend in Hid word.

In Christ,

Jane and Mary

 

Day 1: Simple Trust

trust and relax

Simple Trust Scripture

 Simple Trust Devotion

 

Day 2: Simple Sabbath

Flower pot Simple Sabbath Scripture

Simple Sabbath Devotion

 

Day 3: Simple Peace

blooming, broken places, cracks of life, purpose, Jesus, petunia

Simple Peace Scripture

Simple Peace Devotion

 

 

Day 4: Simple Rest

Rest FlowerSimple Rest Scripture

Simple Rest Devotion:

 

 

 

Day 5: Simple Restoration

 

bookcase Simple Restoration Devotion

Simple Restoration Scripture

 

 

 

Click the play button below for a little study music.

 

 

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Copyright 2016




Short & Sweet: Trust and Relax

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

2 Timothy 1:12

“Just relax through the pain.”

“Relax through the pain?” I thought to myself, “what an oxymoron. Who can relax through pain?”

I was suffering from something called a frozen shoulder. It happened one day when I was at recess with my students. Why I thought I had to do a cartwheel at the young age of 50 was beyond me. But I did it, and I stuck the landing.

However, I paid the price.

Now I could barely put my arm behind my back, or lift it above a 30-degree angle. I had been to the doctor several times, but I was making very little progress.

During the course of this inconvenient injury, I was attending a conference at a posh hotel in South Carolina. That’s when I met Michael—an angel who disguises himself as a massage therapist. I scheduled a massage.

Michael greeted me for my appointment and as protocol dictates, asked me the usual pre-massage questions. I saw a spark of interest ignite in his eyes when I told him I was there not to relax, but to seek healing for my injured arm. This was not just a typical bored pampered housewife appointment—I needed real help.

As he began to go deep into the injured arm, Michael said, “Just relax through the pain.” I turned over this comment over in my mind. Relax through the pain. How do these concepts mesh? Is it possible to hurt yet rest? How does a person relax in pain? Michael worked as I breathed in and out.

Mind wandering. Muscles releasing. Stress draining.

Suddenly, I realized to my astonishment, I was relaxing through the pain. Why? How? One word—trust. I trusted Michael. He knew when to stop. He knew how to probe the injury to a depth that brought healing not harm. I did not have to protect myself because he was protecting me. But he didn’t protect me out of my healing. I could relax and let him work because I trusted him.

Same thing with God.

He asks us to trust him through the pain; to give our wounds into His healing hands and let Him go deep. He knows when to stop, and when we’ve had enough. Left on our own, we would protect ourselves right out of our healing. But God knows how to heal, not harm. We can relax and let Him work because He is trustworthy. Healing wrapped in pain. A salve of wholeness and hurt. Buried pain exposed, cut away and removed.

Pain then healing. Hurt then wholeness.

We can relax through the pain of life because we are safe in His hands.

Trust in Him.

Action Points:

  1. What are you holding back? Is there a painful situation you need to turn over to God? Take a step of trust and tell Him as best as you know how at this moment, you are giving this hurt to Him to heal.
  2. Envision yourself completely healed. What would be different? What would you finally dare to do because you are completely healed?
  3. Take the first step. What is your first step? A move? A career change? The end of a relationship? Letting go of decades old guilt or shame? The first step can be scary but also very freeing and empowering!
  4. Seek the help you need. Counselor, pastor,  doctor, mentor— whatever it takes, do it!
  5. Cover everything in prayer. Ask God to give you His best and open wide your arms to receive it.

Life is sweet! Trust and relax.

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Copyright 2016

 




Short & Sweet: Measure Up

Short & Sweet-1Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.

Hebrews 13:7-10

“I’ll have your order up in a moment, Ma’am,”

the hostess said as I waited at the counter of one of my favorite restaurants. I was looking forward to my lunch. I brought a salad to school and I ordered a pint of my favorite aged-balsamic salad dressing. Tangy, sweet and savory all stirred up into one delicious hot mess. I know—I need therapy.

As the hostess approached the counter, I eyed the small container in her hand. Too small. I readied myself for battle. I had been through this before.

“That will be $7.95 for your pint of dressing.”

I said, with utmost gentleness, “Miss, that isn’t a pint. It’s only a cup.”

“Oh no, Ma’am,” she said firmly, “it’s a pint. The cooks measured it in the kitchen.”

“They may have measured it, but I assure you, it is not a pint—it is a cup,” I stated decisively.

“Ma’am, we looked it up on Google (the ultimate authority). It is a pint.”

“I am a teacher. We cover measurements and conversions at school. Plus, I have been cooking for 35 years, I know a cup when I see it. I’d like the rest of my dressing, please.” I was calm despite the twitch in my jaw muscle.

The conflicted clerk then said, “Ma’am, we measure our pints differently than anyone else. This is how we measure our pint.”

#imustbedreaming

I didn’t think I’d live to see the day … pink is the new black. Wrong is right. Up is down. A cup is the new pint. Can we count on anything, anymore?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

The word same in the verse above is derived from the Greek word autos and it simply means himself. No kidding. Jesus is simply, magnificently Himself. Not new and improved. Not updated or upgraded. Jesus. Go back up to the verse and replace the same with himself and read the verse out loud. Hallelujah! We can count on Jesus. He will always be himself (I on the other hand have been several different versions of myself and God is still working on me). He is our rock our strong tower and His word will outlive skinny jeans and boots, your latest tat, selfie sticks and designer cupcakes.

With Christ I don’t need to remake myself every day because He is making me over into the image of Christ. Because Jesus never changes, I know who I am, I know whose I am, I know how to act and I know how to live.

Right is still right, wrong is still wrong. God is on his throne and HE NEVER CHANGES!

Just in case you are wondering, I left the restaurant with a pint of balsamic dressing … old school style.

Life is Sweet!

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Short & Sweet: 4 Steps to a More Peaceful Life

Short Bible studies, quick devotions

“Sold to Mrs. Kane for $150 dollars.”

It was Work Day at our school, a tradition in which the seniors raise money for their class trip by auctioning themselves off to the highest bidder. For one day the seniors become workers, at the beckon call of their bosses. In this case, I purchased my own son. For one day, he was mine. No arguing. No haggling. My word was LAW.

He was my captive.

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10: 3-5

The original Greek word used for captive in 2 Corinthians is aichmal?tiz?. It means “to lead away captive, to capture ones mind, to captivate.” To captivate—interesting.

If something is captivating it draws, it attracts, it appears to offer something desirable to the one who is captive-ated. As stated in the definition, it captures the mind. Once the mind is ensnared, the heart and body soon follow. The perfect trap.

Captivity causes great stress.

Especially when a Christian is held captive by sin. I know. I have been there. My heart knew the truth, but I allowed my flesh to rule my soul.

The price of living in rebellion is the absence of peace. Flesh fights the Spirit. Lies clash with Truth. Man contends with God. And the mind is a battle zone. Stress, anxiety and angst set up shop and begin their dirty work. Like a puppet on a string, our thoughts call the shots and we obey.

How can we regain our freedom and peace?

Know the truth—Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life. We must bury truth in our heart so we are able to recognize a lie the moment it tries to ensnare us. Once we have the truth in our heart, we use it to tear down the lies of the Enemy. We do this by taking every thought captive to Christ.

How does this process work?

I run every thought that comes into my head through the filter of God’s word by asking one question, “Does this thought comply with the truth of Scripture?” If the answer is no, then I cast it away and replace the lie with truth. I do not allow my mind to be captivated by lies or sinful thoughts. I take every thought captive to the truth of Christ.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, we can control our thoughts—we choose what we think about. The Spirit enables us to tear down opinions and arguments and replace the lies with truth. We are no longer enslaved by our thoughts. Reduce your stress by thinking right thoughts. Right thoughts lead to right actions. And right actions lead to peace. Peace with God, peace with others, and peace with yourself.

It matters what you hear.
It matters what you watch.
It matters what you read.
It matters what you think.
What you allow in your mind goes heart deep.

Today, seek to tear down the lies and take every thought captive to Christ. Stop entertaining fabrications of the world, the enemy and your mind. Your destiny hangs in the balance. Tear down lies with Truth. Walk with Truth and you will live in peace.

Action Points:

  1. Take a quick inventory of your troublesome thoughts.
  2. Memorize scriptures that deal with your trouble areas (If you often complain, memorize scriptures about thankfulness.)
  3. Replace wrong thoughts. Turn your memorized scriptures into prayers. Example: “Lord, Your word says I should do everything without complaining. Thank you I have a washer to do all this laundry.”
  4. Repeat as often as needed!

Life is sweet! Think truth and live in peace.

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Short & Sweet: What Do You Live For?

17 “Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.”
Psalm 119:17-18
.
I can’t live without my coffee, I  heard someone say as she came in the door to Bible study one evening with a fragrant steaming cup in hand. I have often heard people make similar statements … I can’t do anything before my coffee … I am nothing without my coffee … I can’t deal with life unless I have my coffee.

 .

Coffee must be some powerful stuff.

While I realize most of these comments are made in jest, something about them gives me pause to stop and ponder.  Some people, who would never think of starting their day without their cup of Joe, walk right past their Bible on the way to their favorite coffee house.  Coffee is non-negotiable, and the lack there-of is a deal breaker. It’s a coffee-house world view.
Whether it’s coffee, an afternoon nap, or a morning run, everyone builds their life around something. What drives my life? What would cause me to say,
.
“I can’t live without _________ .”
I am nothing without _____________.
I can’t deal with life unless I have ______________. “
I know what I want it to be — God, the Bible and all things Jesus. I lived enough of my life without Jesus to know life without Jesus is not worth living. It’s empty and fruitless. Yet, do I always choose Him first? Is He my priority, my everything, my non-negotiable? Do I live and keep His Word?
 .

Let’s take a close look at two important words in the verse, live and keep.

In the original language, live transliterates as chayah, which means among many things, to live, to prosper, to revive, to restore, to heal, to live prosperously. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. God’s word is literally dripping with life — physical and spiritual. He resurrects dead things (relationships, dreams, and marriages)  and restores broken things (hearts, souls and spirits).

To keep transliterates as shamar.

.Shamar means to guard, to protect, to watch for, to wait for, to treasure, to celebrate. Do you protect God’s word in your heart by refusing to watch, read or listen to media that contradict the truth of His word? Do you wait for and watch for His word as you go through your day? Do you long for your Quiet Time or just endure it? Do you treasure His word by collecting it in your heart, displaying it on your walls or speaking it in your conversations and prayers?Live 2

If you are like me, there have been seasons when you could have answered no to some or all of these questions. If you are in one of those seasons now, there is hope! Verse 18 gives us the answer.

Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.

4 Ways to Live for Jesus and Keep His Word:

  1. Tell Jesus about the dryness of your heart.
  2. Ask Him to help you long for His word and a deep relationship with Him.
  3. Pray to Jesus to open the eyes of your heart to the truth of His word.
  4. Carve the time out of your busy schedule and spend consistent time with Him everyday.

Life is sweet. Live for Him and keep His word.

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Copyright 2016