Oh today what a bittersweet day. We come to the end of our study in Acts that we have had this year in Bible Study Fellowship. I always dislike the summer time because without BSF or a planned study where I am accountable, it is just too easy to get too busy to really study God’s Word! Even as I type this, I find that appalling behavior! I know better! Yet here I am, just like Paul, back doing what I don’t want to do and not doing what I do want to do! This summer, I have purposed to change that behavior! I have invited any of the BSF ladies to join me at either at Starbucks or the nearby Crispers….same day, same time for an an hour and a half of discussion of our weekly Bible study lesson. I have one study book we could use or there may be other suggestions. But come what may, I will be there every week even if there is only one other person-because then I will be accountable. What I find really interesting is that I still don’t feel so very “accountable” to the Lord God that I would be so disciplined to do it all on my own.
Maybe I should qualify those statements a little. I do have a quiet time devotional every day where I read a little scripture, a little devotional passage for that day and I pray for so many people and things that need to be done; for a clear, organized mind, the people I will be speaking with today…all of those things come after I am done praising the Lord God of Heaven and Earth. Because I have learned that He wants us to pray a certain way–and praise always comes first. Just like saying hello, how are you doing? and listening politely does for us when we first meet up with a friend. Ah, He is so much more than just a friend!
My God and Father is a Father to me as my earthly father has passed on. So now I do depend on the Lord God to act and steer me, and care for me as a father does for his own children, regardless of their ages. My God and Father is and was and His Son will come and greatly to be praised. Look around you and see what great things the Lord has designed and made! Is He not the most creative and wonderful designer ever? He never runs out of ideas…. every day if you look you can see something new! And the Lord God guides and protects. He hides me in the cleft of the rock, holds me close to His heart, covers me with His feathers, holds me with His strong right arm–and promises to never, ever let me go! Oh as I have read again His promises this week, how thankful I am that I know Him, that I have been given the right to be called His child. Truly I am overcome with His mercy and compassion and love towards me.
This year, studying the lives of Peter and then Paul and Silas and Barnabas and what they endured to spread the Word of the Gospel, showed me that I suffer so little in comparison. If my suffering is just to identify with others so that I can connect with them on that level, then I must surrender to that suffering. For is it not just a little while in comparison with the eternity that whoever I am sharing Jesus with would suffer without Him? I am no martyr! Not trying to make myself out to be one, but I know that it makes a huge difference when you can speak with someone who knows exactly how you feel. Someone who has survived and come out the other side.
So, here is to a summer Bible study and to whomever God will call to it! Pray on that will you?
And please continue to pray for my brother in law. Thank the Great and Good Lord, he has an appointment at Moffit Cancer Center next week! However his red blood cell count is down to 9.4. They transfuse when it is below 9-so you can imagine how funky he feels. Secondly the older brother of another brother in law has been diagnosed with 4th stage pancreatic cancer with about 90 days to live. Of course that is for God to decide, still I don’t think or know that he is a believer. He has 2 little girls who will apparently go to the oldest boy’s family. Please pray for them all. I am asking my Lord to send someone to give them the good news of Jesus! Especially quickly for the sick brother and then for the others and for the children-comfort and care that they will not be bitter to God. As I read on one blog site this week, many agnostics say they stopped believing in God because they lost a loved one at an early age. So that is the specific reason I am asking for this prayer for them-you never know…