Sow & Gather

psalms

In the Beginning – Pray!

New BeginningsMarci AnthonyComment
#sowandgather #prayer I-Call-On-You-O-God-For-You-Will-Answer-Me-Give-ear-to-me-and-hear-my-prayer psalm 17:6

I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 17:6 NIV

It has arrived!!!  Happy New Year! 

2017 is upon us and the days are already beginning to speed by in a flurry. I can’t believe it has come, and I still have various holiday items hanging around my house: a few bows, leftover ornaments, stale cookies and of course, Christmas cards.   

As I started to gaze upon each card with all the color, glitter, Bible verses and family or friend’s pictures and names, I was warmed by their love for me. I began to ponder how I could ever thank them or return their love.  

At that moment I decided I would pray every day to Jesus for everyone who sent me a Christmas card. I will look intently upon an individual card and pray for Jesus strength, joy and love in the lives of my family and friends. I want them to “grasp how wide and long and high and deep the love of Christ is for them.” Ephesians 3:18. And, I know that if I call upon Jesus, He will answer.  They will truly experience His love this year. 

However, I have decided this activity of praying should go one step further into this New Year. Not only will I pray over each card, but I want to begin to really concentrate on praying every day and throughout the day for various people and activities in my life. I want to practice the verse In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 which commands us “to pray continually.” I know this will be a challenge, difficult to say the least, but I also know that He will listen and answer. And most importantly, my love for Jesus will also continue to grow.  

Let’s get praying. 

Dig Deeper |

Dig into the book of Psalms. The Psalms are prayers to God from various individuals and groups. 

Action Item |

Take the challenge; try praying continually. 

Prayer |

Dear Jesus, thank You for 2017. Thank You that it is a new year and we can begin new undertakings in our lives. Help me to pray to You throughout the day this year. I want to know You better and love You more. In Your precious name, Amen. 

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Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.

How can this year be different from last year?

New BeginningsMarci AnthonyComment
How Can This Year Be Different? #sowandgather

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord:  and He delights in his way.”  Psalms 37:23

2016 is gone, and it is 2017!!!  How did that happen?  I can’t believe how fast the year has gone.  As I look at all the possibilities this new year holds, I can’t help but think about all that I had intended to do in 2016.  You too?  The reason most didn’t get done is just one…I didn’t set my mind to do it. I wasn’t intentional.  I looked up the meaning of  "intentional".  The google dictionary says “done with intention or on purpose; intended.”  That can make 2017 different.  I can be intentional about what I do and what I don’t do!  

Psalms 37 has always been a favorite of mine.  It talks about having true joy and peace. Something that I want and need.  This Psalm even tells me how I can have that, but I will need to be intentional, to purpose to do what it says--every day.  There are four things mentioned in Psalms 37:1-7 that I can purpose to do:  Trust, delight, commit, and rest.  These are all things that I can control and do.  I may not be able to control my situation, but I can control how I respond. 

Trust:  “Trust in the Lord in do good” v. 3.  Even when things seem to be falling apart I need to remember that God is in control, He is working out His perfect plan.  I need to trust Him that He will work “all things together for good” (Romans 8:28).  There is something else I can do.  I can choose to do good!  Smile even when my day might be a little hard.  Look around and see how I can do “good” to others. 

Delight:  “Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine hear” v. 4.  How do I “delight myself in the Lord”?  What does that mean?  It means to choose to enjoy the Lord, love the things He loves and hate the things He hates.  When you do that, your heart’s desires will change to what the Lord desires. 

Commit:  “Commit thy way unto Him” v. 5.  This means I need to seek Him and continually go to Him. 

Rest:  “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him…” v. 7.  Rest.  Just that one word creates such a longing in me.  I need rest, and so do you.  Where am I resting?  Is it in material things, my bank account, my family?  God is telling me that I need to rest in Him.  Don’t worry about it, rest in God’s perfect plan. 

If you were to take the first two words of this Psalm and add the first word of verses 2-7, you can have your purpose for 2017…”Fret not, trust, delight, commit, and rest in the Lord.”  That is a guarantee for a great year!! 

Action Item |

What changes will you decide to make in your life this year?  The slate is clean and the opportunities are endless. 

Dig Deeper |

Matthew 11:29; Psalms 62:5; I Peter 2:2-3 

Prayer |

Lord, help me to seek You and Your ways, to trust that Your plan is better than my plan. 

Join Us |

Gather with us by sharing your prayer by clicking on the comment link at the top of the post. 

Treasure God's Word--Psalm 139:7-8a, 10a

scripture memoryMarci AnthonyComment

How A Change In Perspective Takes Us From Lost To Found

Advent 2015Marci Anthony2 Comments
hope-advent-2015-the-lord-is-our-righteousness-sowandgather.com

Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days, Judah will be saved.  Jeremiah 33:14,16a (NASB)

In June 2001, I was joyously engaged and only a few days from being married to the man I loved. After a whirlwind of planning and bucket loads of stress, it was finally time. I drove to downtown Dallas to pick up my fiancé and parked at a little lot where I could walk to his office. He worked in a massive 787 feet tall building with sixty stories. The impressive structures distorted my directional senses so when I exited the parking garage on the wrong side, I didn't realize it was a different route. About twenty minutes into the journey, I ascertained I was hopelessly lost.

I was certain I could retrace my steps back but the more I tried, the more twisted I became. I passed fancy shops, wealthy people, then vagabonds, and desperate people. Fear gripped me, and panic rose up inside swallowing my hope. Hours had passed and by now I knew my fiancé would be wondering what had happened to me. Crying started deep in my chest and I shook uncontrollably. Then I had a thought. If I could only see the building in the right perspective, then I might be able to find my way.

I had hope.

I walked until I was on the outer limits of the downtown and began the long trek around the circumference of this area. Finally, the buildings lined up and I found where I was supposed to be and also found my wonderful man. A few days later, I walked down the aisle and said an "I do" that has lasted twenty-five amazing years.

Similarly, this life causes a hopelessness with its tall demands that confuse us. We try so many ways to get to God but get twisted in our own efforts to find Him. Perspective is what we need, God's perspective. We are desperately lost and need His help. Though Jesus Christ was born a tiny baby, He came with a purpose. He came to find us. We must choose to believe that we have sinned, that sin has a cost, the cost is death, death must be satisfied, and Jesus made the payment by dying. When we ask Him to forgive us and choose to trust His death for us, He makes us right with God. That is the perspective where we are found and God sees us as His.

This is a hope that will not disappoint.

Dig Deeper |

Jeremiah33:14-16; John 14:6; I Corinthians 15:3-4

Additional Liturgical Readings For The First Week of Advent |

Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36

Action Item |

Take time to remember and dwell on what it cost Jesus to come as a baby and live and die on the cross.

Prayer |

Father, thank You that You had a plan from the beginning on how to save me. Thank You for sending Jesus to come to earth to live and die so that I might be made right with You.  Please help me not to forget what it cost You to pay for my life. May Christmas this year remind me of the hope that I have in You. In Jesus name, Amen.

Join Us | 

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.

This post is part of the 100 Happy Days Linkup and the #livefreeThursday linkup with Suzanne Eller.