A new session of STAND will begin on Monday, September 14. For more information, please visit and click on the links for "Stand." Our last session together was WONDERFUL... you won't want to miss this study!

Ready to jump in? Why not take a picture of your rainy day shoes (or you know... boots, flip-flops, bare feet... whatever!) E-mail your photo to And we'll post them with your first name along the side-bar.

Can't wait to study with you!!!
Love, Mary

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our focus should be on fostering our CHARACTER -- as in obedience to God (John 15:10-11), faith and patience (James 1:2), doing what is right (Psalm 33:1), living a holy life (Psalm 16:11), and having the Lord close by our side (Psalm 16:8). The verses Lauren listed also refer to praising God, but notice that the context in which they refer to it -- "BECAUSE He is close by my side, I will not be hurt. SO I rejoice ..." "BEING WITH YOU will fill me with joy." "Sing all you WHOSE HEARTS ARE RIGHT." "Sing to the Lord, YOU WHO DO WHAT IS RIGHT." These verses don't talk about praising God if and when things are "good" in your life. They talk about making the conscious choice to praise God because of WHO HE IS and THE THINGS HE CONTINUALLY DOES FOR US -- things of eternal significance (His being close by our side & protecting us) rather than transient things (such as earthy possessions, etc.). But it's reeeeeeeeeeeally hard to focus on eternal things versus material things, as our world seems to be obsessed with materialism. So what's the solution to that problem? Glad you asked :) I think maybe it's PRAISE ... if we praise how God teaches us to praise (again, back to the the verses Lauren listed) it helps fix our perspective. What an awesome God who built in so many "fringe benefits" to us praising Him! How completely cool :) Thank you, God. - Amy

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