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, July 7, 2009

Monday, July 6

Good Monday to YOU! I'm going to go straight into an awesome gift from God's Word for you to kick off your week! You're welcome! :)

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord who counsels me, even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:5-8,11

You've got something to thank God for! He is so awesome. Don't miss a chance to praise Him!

This weekend's discussion was, as usual, so encouraging. We are promised joy. And it is worth pursuing [HARD].

However. To pursue joy, we don't pursue... joy. We pursue [GOD]... joy is just the cherry on the ice cream! Remember a couple of days back? "The JOY of [THE LORD IS] your STRENGTH."

Do you feel like I'm re-emphasizing the same points over and over?!? Good. I'm ok with that. I don't think we can ever go to far with this concept.

This weekend I was talking with my wonderful mom who explained how "the outcome" of her praying.. has such an awesome perspective. She said instead of saying "God, I know you're in control, but this situation is so frustrating!!!" we can say... "God, this situation is so frustrating!! and I KNOW YOU are in control!!!" (She said it much better of course :) But you get the point.) It's practical application to life-changing truth.

We talked some on Friday about where we should be standing, if we hope to claim the promises of God. Do we live like God is God?!? Like He is Holy? Take a look at Psalm 2. Where do the "Kings and the people of the earth take their [stand]?"

God is a God of unending mercy. Of amazing grace, and of greater love than we can fathom. His mercies are new every morning.

And we are sinners in need of Savior.

And when we accept Christ we are children of God, forgiven, free, and clay. We need molding, shaping, redeeming, and teaching.

We need to REMEMBER who our God IS. (Hebrews 13:7-8)

We need to ACT accordingly.
"... in view of God's mercy... offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - This is your spiritual act of worship." Romans 12:1

We can rejoice that we are living, changing, and being loved by the God who has an awesome purpose and plan, and who we can trust to be faithful.
For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Nor only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:10-11
I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

OK I'm going to get the point. (ahem.) For the last couple of weeks we've established some things that we KNOW.

There is NO great joy, peace, strength, or abundant life than that which is found in changing our perspective to focus on the character of God. [PERIOD].

The ["sacrifices"] God requires are:
1. Obedience. (Live what you know.)
2. Praise. (Know... and SHARE what you know.)
- For your benefit
- and for the benefit of others.

Why are these things "sacrifices?" Because they are not always natural. We naturally want to serve ourselves. These take... that's right it's comin'... a change of perspective and the WILL to follow through. (Psalm 1:2 But His delight (his WILL) is in the law of the Lord, and on this law he meditates day and night.)

Let me ask you this. Would it make any difference to others.. or to you... if you only were willing to praise God or to obey... when it's easy or natural? No. Would you grow as much? No.

We'll be wrapping this study up in a few short weeks. :( Let's take these last few weeks and dig in with all we've got. These next few topics are SO EXCITING. Because our God... is SO. EXCITING.

FOR TODAY: Let's offer the sacrifice of praise! Praise God OUT LOUD today... where ever you are, and here on the discussion board. You don't even have to include your name, and there is no limit to how much you can write.


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