Thursday, March 31, 2011


With Easter quickly approaching, I have been pondering the question, "How in the world do you prepare your heart for something as gruesome, yet beautiful as the Crucifixion?"  And, assuming you could get your heart adequately prepared for it, then two days later comes the Resurrection -- the most glorious day of all time thus far.  How do you prepare your heart to receive the Savior who poured out His blood as a ransom for your life?

I'll have to get back to you on those questions...In the meantime, I have been riveted by the lyrics of Sidewalk Prophets' latest song, "You Love Me Anyway."  Maybe it's a good place to start...

I am the thorn in your crown,
But You love me anyway.
I am the sweat from Your brow,
But You love me anyway.
I am the nail in Your wrist,
But You love me anyway.
I am Judas' kiss,
But you love me anyway.
See, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground,
Yes then, I turned away with this smile on my face,
With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace,
Yes, and alone in the night, I still called out to You,
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life...
But you love me anyway.

The line that rocks me to the core is this one - "With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace.  Then alone in the night, I still called out for You."  The thought of mankind trying to bury their ONLY HOPE of Salvation is mind boggling on this side of the cross, but I can't say that I wouldn't have had a shovel in my hand if I had been there.  ("He came into the very world he created, but the world didn't recognize Him.  He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him." John 1:10-11 (NLT).)

BUT, we have this hope ---  The. grave. could. NOT. hold. HIM!!!!   

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"

Click here to watch the Sidewalk Prophets video of "You Love Me Anyway."

SSMT Verses 6 & 7

Technically, I will be a day early posting my seventh verse, but I doubt I will have time to get around to posting tomorrow - so here goes!  (I'm going to do my best to type Verse # 6 from memory.)

Verse # 6

"I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post.  There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how He will answer my complaint.  Then the LORD said to me:  . . . 

This vision is for a future time.  It describes the end, and it WILL be fulfilled.  If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place.  It will not be delayed."  
Habakkuk 2:1, 2a, 3

I can't really articulate my reasons for choosing this verse.  Ok, well maybe I can, but a) it would take too long, and b) it's kinda just between the Lord and me!  (You know it's good to have some things that you keep just between the Lord & you!  By way of analogy, my husband and I use the term "marriage confidential" to refer to things we keep only between the two of us.  Well, if I (as a part of the Church) am the bride of Christ, I figure it's ok to have some "marriage confidential" with my heavenly groom, too!)

Verse # 7

"For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified." ~ 1 Corinthians 2:2 (AMP)

I had decided to do this one to prepare my heart for Easter, but I realized how appropriate it is for my current season tonight when I was reading some of the comments on the LPM Blog.  Beth introduced us to one of Lifeway's newest Bible teachers, Tammie Head, whose first published Bible study is being released tomorrow.  Beth has served as a mentor to Tammie for many years.  Tammie commented on the post, and said that Beth would often remind her along the way, "Seek the Caller and not the calling, and you will run smack dab into your calling."  Because I have been searching/wrestling with God over my calling for some time now, that hit me straight between the eyes.  Alas, I realized I need to memorize this verse for more reasons than one! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2011!

Hola friends!  I thought I'd share something that's making my year this year!  I have joined up with over 5,000 women (siestas, to be exact) + Beth Moore to commit to memorizing 2 Scripture verses a month for the year of 2011.   Together, we form the Siesta Scripture Memory Team (or SSMT)!  The inaugural SSMT was back in 2009--the same year that Bobby and I got married--and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience then, too.  But, there's something extra special about this year...

This year, I have been thirsting for the Scriptures like never before.  We begin our new verses on the 1st and 15th of every month, and, I have found myself eagerly anticipating those days.  I often flip through my calendar to see how much longer I have to wait until I get to start my next verse.  If that sounds crazy to you, let me explain.  I haven't always been so excited to memorize Scripture.  Even though I am able to memorize easily, I have often been lazy about actually doing it when left to my own devices.  (That's the wonderful thing about having the accountability of the SSMT!)

But, I think the difference this year is that I have chosen verses that my soul desperately needs.  As a result, the practice of memorization has become more than just a spiritual exercise.  It has become the active pursuit of the renewal of my mind that Paul talks about.  (Romans 12:2)  As I have said my verses over and over again over the last two months, they have renewed my hope and even given me life more abundantly.  I can totally understand what the Psalmist meant when he said, "Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors."  The verses I have been memorizing this year have been just that - counselors to me.

Another reason this year's SSMT is even more special to me is because my mom is doing it with me this time! We have practiced saying our verses to each other over the phone, and that has added so much to the experience.

Finally, two other additions make this year's SSMT extra fun:

1. Beth & the wonderful staff at LPM put together these precious spirals for the siestas this year:

2. Beth & the staff at LPM also made an iPod app just for the SSMT!  Yes, there's an app for that!  I mean, how cool is that?!

So, I thought I would take this opportunity to share my first 5 verses of the year.  I will do my best to write them by memory!   My commentary on why I chose the verses is in blue.

Verse #1 - January 1, 2011

"To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless."  
Psalm 119:96 (NIV)

I chose this verse to help tear down the stronghold of perfectionism in my life.  There is nothing like the ability of the sword of the Spirit to demolish strongholds! (Ephesians 6:17; 2 Corinthians 10:4)

Verse # 2 - January 15, 2011

"It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows.  Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success.  He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less."  
John 3:29-30 (NLT)

This one is a little bit harder to explain.  Over the last few years I have been wrestling with my calling.  As I look around at other people who seem to be so sure of God's plan for their lives, I have struggled not to feel jealous.  This verse is a reminder that, as the body of Christ, we are ALL working together toward the same goal - the glorification of Jesus Christ (our bridegroom).  We should rejoice at the success of other Christians because their success is our success!!  

Verse # 3 - February 1, 2011

"Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to his will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed." Proverbs 16:3 (AMP)

I chose this verse to remind me that, as I seek God's will for my life, it is God who causes my thoughts to become agreeable to His will!!  

Verse # 4 - February 15, 2011

"[She] did not waver in unbelief at God's promise, but was strengthened in [her] faith and gave glory to God, because [she] was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform."  
Romans 4:20-21 (HCSB)

This one speaks for itself!!  Speaking of demolishing strongholds, this verse is everything to me as I seek victory over the stronghold of unbelief.

Verse # 5 - March 1, 2001
[*current verse*]

"When You, God, went out before your people; 
when you marched through the wilderness, 
the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain, 
before God, the One of Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
You gave abundant showers, O God;
You refreshed your weary inheritance.
Your people settled in it,
And from your bounty, God,
You provided for the poor.

The Lord announces the word, 
and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng." 
Psalm 68:7-11

"March on, my soul; be strong." 
Judges 5:21b

Beth suggested these verses for the month of March due to their theme of marching.  They spoke to me so deeply that I decided to memorize them this month instead of the other verse that I had chosen.  This current season of my life has been a "wilderness" season.  To know that God, the One of Sinai, is marching out BEFORE me is a huge word to me!  The second verse helps me remember that, instead of plopping down in the wilderness and wishing I were back in Egypt, I have to KEEP MARCHING!  My promised land is just around the corner!! 

I'll check back in around the 15th to share my next verse!