February 9 Leviticus 10-12; Acts 16

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These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish. Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at DiscoverOneThingPrayer@gmail.com

Looking for opportunities! | Joni Tyner

S~ On the Sabbath we went a little way outside the city to a river bank, where we thought some people would be meeting for prayer and we sat down to speak to some women who gathers there. Acts 16:13 (NLT)

O~ Paul and Silas went looking for people to talk to about Jesus.  They went out of their way, (outside the city) they were intentional (they sat down to speak to some women)

Another thing I noticed about this scripture. It was the Sabbath and during those times, the Sabbath was set apart with LOTS of rules. Still, they saw the importance of relational building and investing in people instead of just doing their typical Sabbath “church stuff”.  People were more important than tradition and rules.

A~ I am trying to be intentional in my existing relationships with taking the initiative to call, text, write friends to encourage them and maintain the friendship.  I value and do volunteer at church on Sundays but I don’t want to be so caught up in “church work” that I don’t have time or energy to spend with other people. This passage tells me to be out looking for people.  Over the past few years, I’ve begun to pass more emphasis on doing this and less on “blessing the blessed people” at church.  Of course we need to encourage our fellow Christ followers, but the Bible has given us many examples of Jesus, (and his followers) out and about with the people in town, in the country, and hanging out with the “sinners”.  I can’t think of a single scripture that shows the disciples or Jesus volunteering in the temple—they were out with the people!

P~ Lord give me wisdom and discernment  in building relationships with others.  I desire to be sincere, genuine and a good friend. Help me prioritize and build margin into my daily life so that I may have opportunities to reach out to others.

Open Our Hearts | Luisa Penaherrera

S~  As she listened to us the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. Acts 16:14 (NLT)

O~  The Lord opened her heart and she accepted what Paul was saying.

A & P~  This finance wall in our marriage is tall and strong.  Please Lord open our hearts to accept your plan for our finances. Help us to be of one heart and mind in this area. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Praising in the Pain | Susan Aken

S~ About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25 (NIV)

O~ Paul and Silas have just been severely flogged and thrown into prison unjustly, all because of the greed of some slave-owners.  There they were praying and singing hymns to God.

A~ Paul and Silas were in great pain. They were severely beaten with rods. This would leave them bleeding. Every move would be painful. They could not sleep. Their feet were in stocks so they could not even move around to ease their pain. So what did they do? Did they complain, curse, cry, or blame God? No, they were praying and singing praise to God! They were praising God! In spite of the blood, the pain, the injustice, the darkness and uncertainty of the moment, they focused on prayer and singing to the Lord. All the prisoners were listening to them. Even in their darkest moment, they were helping others. Paul and Silas are such an amazing example here. What do I do when minor inconvenience or pain comes into my life? Too often I complain and yes sometimes I curse. The example here puts me to shame. How were they able to do this? Their lives were focused on the Lord and serving Him. They trusted Him completely. They knew He was the only source of strength or help. They felt the suffering just as anyone would but they held to their faith in God without wavering.

P~ Father, forgive me for those moments when I complain or grumble instead of praising you. Please help my heart to be so focused on you that I will praise you no matter what. Help my first response to trouble to be prayer and then to sing praise to your name. I love you Lord. Thank you that your love for me never changes.

Focus On God | Michelle Myers

S~ About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing songs to God as the other prisoners listened.  Suddenly, there was a strong earthquake that shook the foundation of the jail.  Then all the doors of the jail broke open, and all the prisoners were freed from their chains.  Acts 16:25-26 (NCV)

O~ Paul just cast out a demon that was in a servant girl, who made money by telling fortunes.  When her owners realized that she could no longer make money, they had took Paul and Silas before the city rulers, and accused them of causing trouble and teaching things that were not right.  Paul and Silas were arrested.

A~ I have been going through this thing lately, where I just want somebody to understand…not fix it, not give me their textbook solution, or look at me with pity or judgment in their eyes; but to just understand.  I know that God understands.  I have not always known that, but I do now, and have for a couple of years.

When I was teaching; teachers, administrators, etc. in a regular school did not understand what went on at the alternative school.  They did not understand, why all of the most wonderful curriculum, technology, etc.;  would not work in fixing the students and their educational gaps.  The only people who truly understood it, were my fellow teachers.  The ones, who were in there with me everyday, chasing runaway kids down, being screamed at, and deflecting the barrage of cuss words and names thrown out, were the ones who truly “got it”.  Even teachers in the more suburban districts with alternative schools, didn’t get it.

I have found the same with my mom.  Many people don’t get, that she is not just difficult, but impossible.  Yet, the people that I have met, who do “get it” are people who have dealt with the same type of mother.  We each have our own “battle” stories to tell.

The same thing is true in regards to my marriage.  I love my husband, and he is not a bad man, at all.  Yet, I have struggled with counselors, marriage books, attended retreats, etc.; where I left feeling like nobody understands.  Many people don’t.  They don’t understand addiction, let alone sex addiction and the different ways it manifests.  They don’t understand the effects it has on the brain or the damage it can do.  Nor, do they understand, that being married to someone who struggles with it, many times, cancels out rational, logical, text book solutions working.  That doesn’t mean, I give up.  That doesn’t mean, I try harder.  That doesn’t mean, I am doing anything wrong.  And that doesn’t mean, that my husband is a terrible man.

However, it does mean that I have to go to God a lot for answers and guidance.  I need Him to show me what boundaries to enforce, what to let go of, etc.; because a marriage retreat, a text book answer, etc. hasn’t work and may never work.

There are aspects of other people’s lives that I will never fully understand, unless I experience them….having a child with a terminal illness, being in combat, severe poverty…the list goes on and on.  My job is not to try and fix their problem.  I can’t.  My job is to not judge them, but love them the best I can, with my limited experience.

Yet, God has placed a handful of people in my life, who do “get it”.  Yet, like Paul and Saul did, while they were in jail, I need to stay focused on Him.  They prayed and sang songs.  They didn’t try and explain what they were doing to the people who arrested them, when they casted out the demon.  They didn’t waste time and energy trying to defend themselves.  They didn’t point out, how the motives of the owner were wrong, because they were focused on the money.  They focused on God.  They knew that He saw them.  And ultimately, He was able to do what they or no other person was able to do, and that was free them.

P~ Thank you God for my husband.  I love him, even though, I don’t always understand him.  I know he loves YOU, and I know his heart.  Please help me remember that you see, you know, and that I am not alone in it.

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Posted on February 9, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thank you Susan. I know that there are a lot of other women out there totally confused and suffering in silence, like I once was. I am blessed to have a husband who is willing to be transparent, and who is not too ashamed, to allow me to be transparent also. Our hope is, that we will be able to help others, in our own individual ways; as this has had an impact on both of us, but in different ways.

  2. Thanks Michelle, you are an inspiration.

  1. Pingback: Praising in the Pain | Soaring with Butterfly Wings

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