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Sunday, August 31, 2014

To Die For, To Live For

Photo by: Just2shutter

I chuckle looking at Pinterest pictures and their captions. (You can follow me, if you want.) People say things like:
A hairstyle to die for
I could die here.
A sofa to die for
A kitchen to die for

Okay, I understand their meaning. It’s something like woot, “want one of these.” (I did a post on woot. You can access it here.). It’s an expression. They don’t really mean they would actually die for hair like that or a sofa or kitchen like that, and they really do mean they'd love to go there on vacation—not die there. I get it, and I laugh a little at the word choice.

For me, it’s a lot more fun to think about living. What do I live for? What’s my purpose in life? What are my goals and aspirations? Where do I get my life purpose?

Here’s a selection of verses that help me see what’s really important:
  • For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it (Matthew 16:25).
  • Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
  • I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
  • According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not (Philippians 1:20-22).

My purpose statement? I want to glorify and magnify Jesus Christ with my life. I want everything that I am and everything I do to be invested in His work. I want to live by faith and for Christ.

So, how do I go about doing that?

Some people emphasize spiritual exercises (fasting, prayer, Bible study, etc.). These are fine, of course.

Some emphasize evangelism. Again, fine.

Some emphasize conformity to rules and lists and laws. If they're biblical and not legalistic, they might be fine. (Nope; I don't like man-made lists.)

Some emphasize one thing, and some emphasize another.

Look back at the verses above. What's the emphasis in each verse? Jesus, God, Christ, and Christ, in that order.

Where should our emphasis be? Obviously, it’s not supposed to be on our selves.

It’s supposed to be on the Lord Jesus Christ. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell (Colossians 1:13-19).

Am I living for my new hairstyle?
Am I living for my next vacation?
Am I living for the new sofa or kitchen re-do?
Am I living for money?
Another person?

Or is my whole life purpose to glorify God with whatever I do and with all my being?

That’s what God wants.
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God
with all thine heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy might.
(Deuteronomy 6:5)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Mighty Fortress

Photo by: yorresiek

As you know, we live in Spain. There are still over 2,000 castles still standing here, and I enjoy seeing every single one. I’m always impressed by their strength. They’re made of stone, surrounded by walls and moats and perched on high hills. Some, like the famous Alcázar in Segovia, are on the edge of incredible cliffs. They were places of protection and refuge.

The Bible says the Lord Himself is a Fortress for the believer. Here are some of the wonderful verses about how David and others rejoiced in that truth:
  • And he (David) said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer (2 Samuel 22:2).
  • The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower (Psalm 18:2, David).
  • For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me (Psalm 31:3, David).
  • Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress (Psalm 71:3, author not named).
  • I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust (Psalm 91:2, psalmist not named).
  • My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me (Psalm 144:2, David).

Diagram from: myliteraryquest* 

Look at a “typical” castle fortress, its layers of security, and how it’s a place of refuge.

What’s the application for us today? We don’t live in an age of lords and ladies and knights in shining armor. We don’t use castles as protection, nor moats, nor archers and boiling oil. We’re more modern than that!

But, we still need a Refuge.

We need a place where we can run and hide and feel safely tucked in. We need Someone Else to do the fighting for us and the protecting and to keep up the walls. That Someone, that wonderful Fortress is our God.

Do you need to be saved?
Go to the Lord.

Do you need a safe place?
Go to the Lord.

Do you need to feel protected?
Go to the Lord.

Do you need a wall around you?
Go to the Lord.

Do you need Someone to defend you?
Go to the Lord.

Is Jesus your fortress? Have you walked through the gate?
  • Jesus said, I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture (John 19:9).
  • Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).
  • Jesus also said, Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:13-14).

If you have come to faith by way of Jesus, then you will find comfort inside the castle.
  • I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8).
  • I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah (Psalm 61:4).
  • The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD (Proverbs 21:31).
  • Jesus said, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
  • And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever (John 14:16).
  • Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

 For thou art my rock and my fortress;
therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

I Owe Him My Life

Illustration: freebibleimages

His voice calls to me, and I feel my heart beat—slowly at first, but then faster. He says, “Talitha cumi.”* I try to open my eyes. They flutter and open, and there He is, the kindest Face I’ve ever seen, smiling at me. He offers His hand. I reach out, and He takes my hand in His. I feel strength now, and I sit up and look around me. Behind the Man with the Voice are three men simply dressed, and then I see my mother. She is crying, but they are tears of joy. She is sobbing and laughing all at the same time. I rise and stand up. The Man says I need to eat, and Mama hurries out of the room, looking back at me over her shoulder. And then I see Papa. He is beaming from ear to ear, but there are tears in his eyes, too. The Man says not to tell anyone what happened in that room.

Now I remember. I was so sick. I had a fever. The women were fanning me and bathing me with cold water. I must have slept. I don’t remember anything else. I’m glad I’m well now. I owe that Man my life. I know from His Voice and His touch that He made me well.

Mama comes back in with bread and juice. As I eat the bread and drink the sweet grape juice, the Man and His friends smile. My mother isn’t crying now. She hugs me. Papa hugs me. I notice the Man and His disciples are gone.

I owe that Man my life. I am twelve years old, and I realize that One who can heal like that—they tell me I was dead—has to be from God. I know about God. My Papa has taught me about Him. This Man Jesus is the Messiah. I know it. Papa and Mama know it, too. I want to give my life back to Him for what He did for me.

I am Jairus’ daughter.**


When Jesus saves a soul, He doesn’t exactly physically raise someone from the dead, as He did Jairus’ daughter. But, the Bible describes it as a new birth. In John 3, Jesus is explaining the new spiritual birth to a Pharisee named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a little bit confused. He said, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (John 3:4-7).

Nicodemus asked more questions, and Jesus explained about His coming death. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:14-17).

Nicodemus understood that Old Testament illustration. We’re not told when Nicodemus put his faith in Jesus for salvation, but we know he did! John 7:50-52 seems to indicate he was already a “closet Christian” or was very close to faith. By John 19:39, we see Nicodemus with Joseph of Arimathaea, and they’re both identified as believers. Nicodemus brings the spices for Jesus’ body as they wrap it for burial.


Has God saved you? Have you put your faith in Him and been born again? Are you trusting Him alone for salvation? Do you recognize Him as your Savior from sin?

If so, you've passed from death unto life (John 5:24). And, like Jairus’ daughter,  you owe Him your life.

*Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise (from Mark 5:41. Talitha cumi is Aramaic.)

**The story of Jairus’ daughter is in Mark 5:22-24, 35-43 and Luke 8:41-42, 49-56. My imaginative first-person story is based on the biblical facts.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Don't Let the Big Fish Get Away!

Illustration by: digitalart

The old man tells his grandson, “When you hook that big ‘un, reel ‘im in, slow and careful-like. Don’t let the big ‘un get away!”

But this post isn’t about fish.

It’s about men.

Woman meets the interesting man at another church’s activity. She quickly changes churches.

Lady meets an intriguing man in another state while on vacation. She suddenly feels “led” to move to that state.

Young Woman meets up with a childhood friend after six years, and he’s not married. She “friends” him on social media and keeps in touch—every day.

Lady meets someone interesting who works in the next building from her. She makes sure she “happens” to go to the same restaurant for lunch, at the same time he does.

These scenarios are played out all over our world—the Christian world. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about them.

“Aw, Lou Ann, you don’t mean that the Bible has something to say about today’s mild flirtations!”

Well, no. There’s nothing in the Bible that says, “In 2014, this is how a single woman should or shouldn’t act.” But, we can always find an answer—if we want to.

Let’s look in the Bible.

Which biblical women went after men?

  • Lot’s daughters—incest with their father
  • Judah’s daughter-in-law, Tamar—incest with her father-in-law
  • Rahab and other harlots
  • The “strange women” in Proverbs—married women who went after other men while their husbands were away, and harlots
  • The repentant woman who anointed Jesus’ feet—also a harlot

In the Bible, all the women who are mentioned as going after men were loose women. Not one is an upstanding Christian woman except for the one who anointed Jesus’ feet. Jesus said about her, Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much (Luke 7:47a).

“Okay,” you may say, “those first scenarios have nothing to do with that kind of woman! They’re about Christian women making themselves available or putting themselves under the noses of eligible bachelors. Is that wrong?”

Again, remember, in the Bible, the only women who made themselves available weren’t regarded as good women.

“Ah!” you say. “You forgot about Ruth. She’s called a virtuous woman.”

Yes, she was, and she was acting in strict obedience to her mother-in-law’s directions and to the legal customs of the day. (You can read “Did Ruth Chase Boaz?” here.)

Should a Christian woman change churches, move to another state, initiate contact with a man, arrange to be in the same place at the same time as a man, etc.?

I think not, and here are some of my reasons: 

  1. The woman is taking the pursuer’s role. Men by nature want to be the ones that pursue. Most men are turned off when the woman has taken the initiative in the relationship. As God has made the husband leader of his home, He wants to lead in any relationship. (A woman can encourage him, but he should be the one making the first moves.) A man doesn’t want to be caught or trapped. He wants to pursue and do the catching.
  2. The woman is acting on her own and not with God’s leading. In the Bible, you never see a godly woman going after a man. I believe this is an indication that He frowns on such behavior.
  3. The woman is exhibiting a lack of faith. The Bible says, Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). It says to trust God with your heart! Don’t you think that God can (and will) direct the right man to you—if indeed God wishes you to marry? Don’t you think that God can make your paths cross more often, if God so chooses? Don’t you think that God can even impress someone from another place to move to where you are? The phrase he shall direct thy paths means literally “He shall make your paths straight.” God is able to straighten out your life path. If a certain man is in God’s will for you, he won’t miss you, and you won’t miss him. When you pray and let God arrange—or not—your romance, it is a truly God-blessed thing. Trust God to make something happen—or not. It’s a whole lot better to be single in God’s will than married out of it.
  4. Contrived meetings are fakey. They end up looking tricky. A man isn’t stupid, and he can sense when a woman is putting herself under his nose. He will not like being manipulated.

“But Mrs. Keiser, you’ve been so negative.”

Okay, you’re right. Here are some positives:

  • Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD (Proverbs 18:22).
  • Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies (Proverbs 31:10).

P.S. Notice in the above verses who does the finding. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Non-Fiction Book Review: Don't Let the Goats Eat the Loquat Trees

Photo by: Apolonia

Don’t Let the Goats Eat the Loquat Trees by Thomas Hale is about the ministry of medical doctors Thomas Hale and his wife Cynthia in Nepal. Their mission purpose is to “communicate the love of God to the Nepali people through our service and through our lives. We have come because God has given us a love for the people, especially for those suffering in body and spirit. This love does not arise from ourselves—it is a gift purely from God. Out of that love has grown a desire to introduce others to the person who has meant more to us than any other: Jesus Christ.”

The book chronicles Thomas’ journey to faith and then to Nepal. It is not an easy read in the sense that it tells things as they are and were. The travel was long, wet, and uphill. The hospital supplies were scarce. Triage was difficult emotionally and practically. The workers at the hospital were either excellent or terrible. There were often mutinies, outbreaks of disease, shortages of medicines, and serious problems. There were riots and dangers and the difficulties of living and working on top of a mountain with no road in or out.

Dr. Hale says, “Our years in Nepal have been the best of our lives, richly rewarding personally, professionally, and spiritually. We are content to be here; we have seen no greener grass. Adjusting to a foreign culture is as entertaining as it is enlightening, and the difficulties have made growth possible. . . . The medical work is a daily adventure in unusual problems and unorthodox solutions, and the opportunity to alleviate suffering in even a small measure brings its own reward. Therefore our predominant reaction is thankfulness to God, who has made these last twelve years possible.”

I liked this quote as well: “By far the most crucial prayer you can offer for any missionary is that he or she remain obedient and submitted to God, filled with His Spirit. When this prayer is fulfilled in the life of a missionary (or anyone else) it is not a clichĂ© to say that ‘God is working out His purpose.’”

I can’t say I enjoyed this book, but I was definitely challenged by it. I know Dr. Hale didn’t write it so that others would think highly of him, but I do. I can’t imagine making the decisions he had to make, doing the work, managing the staff, and trudging up and down the mountains.

I did differ with him on some points and maybe would have made different decisions. But, God gave him that responsibility, and not me!

Near the end of the book, Dr. Hale makes some statements that first reminded me of what my grandmother used to say, “Eat all of your food. Remember all the starving children.” I always wondered how my eating my food would help them. This is what he says, and I believe it’s certainly something to think about: “I believe that once we Western Christians understand that our long-taken-for-granted eating habits are ultimately depriving others of food and sending us to early graves, we will change those habits. And need we dwell on the billions of dollars spent each year to feed American pets? . . . Some of us can start by reducing our consumption of meat, giving up pets, and relinquishing our “right” to a large family. . . . We need to be willing to weigh our cherished stained-glass windows and church music programs in the balance against the demands of an effective witness to a watching world.” Are we willing to sacrifice for others? (I’m not saying I agree with all he’s saying, here.)

I personally missed anything about a local church. I would imagine they had something of a church with the believers there, but we didn’t learn about it in the book. I also missed how they shared Christ with the Nepali patients and staff, though it’s obvious that they did. I would love to have heard some personal stories of witnessing to the patients and how they came to trust the Lord. There are some indications of this in the book, but not the details. I am wondering how they accomplished evangelism.

All in all, this is a very interesting read, and I would recommend it for a realistic understanding of medical missions and native mentalities in a third-world setting.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

What About the Gray Areas?

Image by: Sira Anamwong

Gray area (my definition)—Any issue not covered explicitly or implicitly in the Bible. When there’s not a clear principle or statement about it, when the Ten Commandments don’t cover it, when there’s no clear teaching one way or another about it, it’s a gray area. It’s not black or white; wrong or right; it’s in between.

What do we do about other Christians that see things differently from the way we do? What if we were taught one way, and our friend does it another way? What if one church has one style of worship, and the other church has another style? What if a group of believers is big on one spiritual practice and another isn’t?

There are so many gray areas we could mention. This is by no means a complete list:
  • Fasting
  • Vegetarianism
  • Women wearing hats, head coverings
  • Women having long hair
  • Women braiding their hair
  • Women wearing jewelry
  • Women wearing slacks
  • Women playing sports
  • Homeschooling vs. public schools vs. private Christian schools
  • Singing only the Psalms
  • Singing contemporary praise songs
  • Singing without instrumental accompaniment
  • Having a praise team on the platform, in front of the congregation
  • Singing with guitar (tambourine, drums, or any specific instrument)
  • Slow music
  • Repetitive music
  • Expository preaching (verse by verse)
  • Preaching on themes (love, mercy, Israel in history, etc.)
  • Using a drama presentation in a church service
  • Using the main church auditorium for daily vacation Bible school
  • Patriotism (God and country, Fourth of July, etc.)
  • Small group churches
  • One-congregation church
  • Care group divisions
  • Elders vs. deacons
  • Having the Lord’s Supper every Sunday
  • Having the Lord’s Supper once a month
  • Everyone march forward to partake of the Lord’s Supper
  • Passing a plate and small glasses for the Lord’s Supper
  • A common cup passed for the Lord’s Supper
  • Stewardship month in January
  • Massive pulpit vs. little pulpit or no pulpit
  • Missions conferences
  • Having fellowship meals (and how often)
  • House-to-house outreach
  • Friendship evangelism
  • Using gospel tracts
  • Street evangelism
We could go on and on!

These are gray areas. Some Christians view them one way and some another.

Can we be friends?

Can we worship together, having differing opinions?

Do we need to separate ourselves from people who cut the pie differently than we do?

What does the Bible say?

First, the Bible says that doctrine is very important. We are to separate ourselves from those who do not preach sound doctrine. (Doctrine speaks of the core beliefs of Christianity: the sinfulness of man, Christ’s death on the cross to pay the sin debt, the resurrection of Jesus, eternal life, etc.) Someone who claims to be a Christian but preaches another doctrine besides salvation through Jesus Christ should not be welcomed. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds (2 John 10-11).

As Christians, we also separate ourselves from:
  1. Those who cause division in the church. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them (Romans 16:17).
  2. Those Christians who continue in sinful practices. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us (2 Thessalonians 3:6).

Probably the clearest biblical passage about gray areas is this one. It has to do with eating meat. In that time, the big issue for believers was about meat served at the table that had been previously offered or dedicated to a false Roman god. There were Christians on both sides of the argument. Some had absolutely no problem enjoying their steaks, as they knew there was no such thing as a god other than God. Others had “weak” consciences and couldn’t eat the meat. All they could think of was that false god, and to them, the meat was unclean.

Let’s read: He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. . . . We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (Romans 14:6-22; 15:1).

Isn’t this interesting? It all boils down to thinking of others. We’re to do whatever we do with a clear conscience toward God, and we’re to be considerate of others’ feelings.

God help us not to be judgmental about those things that are gray issues and to spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to those who so desperately need Him! Let's major on the majors. 

For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved.
(John 3:17) 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Get Up and Do It!

Photo by: franky242

A famous politician constantly says, “We need to . . . .” After hearing this phrase several times, my reaction is, “Well why don’t you just get up and do it?”

We hear it in Christian circles as well.
  1. I know I need to . . . tell my unsaved boyfriend good-bye, kick a bad habit, see a doctor, make Christian friends, go on a diet, etc.
  2. It would be good if I . . . read my Bible more, prayed more, lived out my faith in a better way, wore modest clothing, cared about others, got more involved in my church, etc.
  3. I wish I could . . . have a happy marriage, have obedient children, have a clean kitchen, take care of the garden, read more good books, etc.
Why don’t you just start?
  • Why don’t you start small, with a step you can handle today?
  • Why don’t you start a good habit today?
  • Why don’t you start reading your Bible today?
  • Why don’t you buy a more modest outfit the next time you go shopping?
  • Why don’t you wash your dishes and clean your stove?
  • Why are you not doing something like that today?

Yes, all of us procrastinate about the things we hate doing. I remember leaving my math homework until last. I loved English and history and science, but math . . . it took more willpower. So, I’d do it after the fun stuff, when I was the most tired. Not a good strategy! I would end up in tears some nights.

Make your wishes come true.

I’m not talking about pie in the sky stuff. I’m talking about practical, necessary stuff—especially those things that will help you spiritually, those actions that will enhance your life and witness.

How’s your prayer life? What can you do about it today? A prayer list? More consistent praying throughout the day? Consciously thinking about and praying for others? Praying while you drive or commute? Praying as you wash pots and pans? Praying in the morning, before you get out of bed? Praying in a specified block of time?

Bible reading? How about setting apart a regular time for prayer and Bible reading? How can you make your Bible reading more practical? How can you be more systematic with reading through the Bible—all of the Bible? Find a plan and do it today!

Want a better marriage? What step could you take today? What would make your husband feel special? What great meal could you prepare? What can you thank him for today? How can you make him happy today?

Want more obedient children? How can you help Junior and Suzie understand how to obey immediately? How can you reinforce good behavior today? How can you be more consistent in what you say and do: telling the child only one time, expecting obedience the first time, showing him negative consequences for disobedience, etc. Maybe an action chart would help?

Kicking a bad habit? Today, you can decide not to do that habit again. How can you strengthen your resolve? Substitute something good for the bad. What habit would you like to start instead of the negative one? Start today! Do something positive! (The best substitute for bad behavior—sin--is saturating your mind with the Word of God. Memorize verses that are practical for you, that have something to do with conquering the bad habit or living in victory. Memorize encouraging verses. Spend your time thinking right, biblical thoughts.) Do you need to stay away from temptation? (It could be a place, situation, or company.) Decide today what you can do instead of going to this place, putting yourself in this situation, or going out with the same friends. Get help. Confide in a trusted counselor. It’s great to have someone on your side, someone who is praying for you.

What do you need to do?

Make up your mind and do it! 

 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: 
thy spirit is good; 
lead me into the land of uprightness (Psalm 143:10).