September 27 Haggai 1,2; Psalms 129; Luke 10

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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.

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Careful Thought | Kim Chipman

S~ Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Hagaii 1:5, 7 (NIV)

O~ The Jews who had returned from Babylon had started to rebuild the temple, but their progress was halted by their enemies. They never went back to finish it. The Lord is telling them through Haggai that it is time to rebuild the temple to glorify God. They were focused on their own homes but neglected the temple. god said (v6) “You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”(v9b) “Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.”

A~ Priorities. That is what this speaks of to me. There is truly  nothing new under the sun. We still try to find satisfaction and meaning in things that are not designed to fill us. We spin our wheels and are not satisfied. Always looking for bigger, better, MORE.

Give careful thought to your ways, Kim. Don’t get busy with your own house and neglect all that God desires for you. Keep your focus right. Fix your thoughts. Do not neglect the temple. Give careful thought to your ways.

P~ Lord, I love You. I hear You. Thank You for the insight today to keep my priorities and focus on You. I love You!

Puffed Up in Him | Robin Laney

S~ All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing. Luke 10:20 (MSG)

O~ Jesus had sent out 72 disciples and they returned filled with joy that they were able to cast out demons in his name. Jesus wisely tells them not to rejoice in the power he had given them but only in the grace they had been given to them.

A~ Ahhhh…pride. How easily it takes over and how well it disguises itself in us. And, oh, what damage it can do. God has been revealing it in me to me through offense. I know full well that I am a new creation in Christ. I know that anything good in me is Him in me. I know that every good and perfect gift is from above. So, why then, do I take on His gifts in me as my identity? I think maybe I get to believing my own press. People tell me I am compassionate and kind and wise and smart. When I am in tune with my true identity I deflect to Him in my heart and mind and in my words to others. When I take on His gifts as my own, pride can rear its ugly head. What I am learning about myself lately is that I am most easily offended when someone comes against or challenges the areas in which I feel I am strongest.

In my heart, it sounds like, “How can my neighbors not like me? I am a nice person. I get along with everyone.” Or, “I can’t believe that they didn’t say ‘Thank you,’ I give and give.” How about this one? “I am always the one to apologize/give in/sacrifice.” It gets ugly quickly.

An identity rooted in gifts received from the Creator can get all puffed up. Puffed up people are easily offended. As I listened to the Spirit speak into my pride this past week I heard, “You are not compassionate, kind, and smart. You are mine and I have gifted you with these things.”

And so, who am I? HIS! What am I? Thankful for His grace and to have my name in the Book of Life!

P~ Thankful, Father, for Your loving correction. Thank You for always showing me the way and waiting patiently on me to learn. Thank You for my salvation and the abundant life You give me as You live in me and through me.

Trying To Love My Neighbor | Michelle Myers

S~ He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.’ Luke 10:27 (NIV)

O~ It is the whole “love your neighbor as yourself” thing that has been the most difficult over the last couple of weeks.

A~  Our neighbor’s have resorted to pounding on the ceiling, when they think that we have become too loud.  The first couple of times that it happened, I was standing in the kitchen cooking dinner. Nobody else was home.  I had a feeling that it was them, protesting; but I wasn’t sure and gave them the benefit of the doubt.

A few days ago, it happened again, and it was a lot louder.  Louder to the point that it scared the toddlers my daughter was babysitting.  It was also followed by a text from our neighbor requesting that I stop whatever I was doing, because it was preventing her sick child from getting any rest.  So far, our “wild, obnoxious, and crazy” daily living habits have disturbed her tv watching, her rest when she was sick, and now her child’s rest when he is sick. And, once again, it was stated that she is sick of it……”running and hard stomping all day and all night”.

At that point, I didn’t know what to do.  I texted back and explained that there was nothing I could do.  I was sorry she had a sick child at home.  I am sorry that she wasn’t happy.  Yet, her loud pounding on the ceiling certainly wasn’t making it any peaceful for anyone.  At that point, I was still pretty calm and my heart wasn’t a mess.

However, my response did not go over well with her, and her gloves came off.  I was accused of “having a big problem with her”.  She told me that she wasn’t the only one who has complained.  We checked with the office, she is.  She told the manager, “If you aren’t going to do anything about her, then we will just start calling the cops.”  Then she told me that the apt manager told her to call the cops on us.  She texted me, “it seems you have no control over your children by now”.  When I told her to call the cops, because we weren’t breaking any laws, she said that we were loud after 10 p.m., and that was breaking the law.  It was 2 in the afternoon when all of this was happening.  It got to the point where I all I could do is reply, “Yep” and hoping that my lack of engagement and agreement would get her to just STOP!  It didn’t, and it just angered her more.

My husband tried to go down and offer an “olive branch” to the lady’s husband, and say maybe we could meet with management and figure some things out together.  He replied, “We don’t have to call or meet with you.  We will just call the cops.”  Then my husband, let him know that was fine, and if this continues, we will start filing harassment complaints.  He then stayed up until 3 in the morning to make sure there was no noise, because our neighbor again claimed that it was all night…running and jumping around.  Um, I think if I was that active all the time, I would be a little skinnier. 🙂  He heard nothing, except a few times someone getting up to go to the bathroom.They didn’t run, skip, or hop to the bathroom.

After talking again with management, the manager again let us know that she has had multiple run-ins with this lady and her husband prior to us moving in.  At one point, it got heated and she told them that they would probably be happier in a house and that they should probably look at getting one.  This did not go over well with our neighbor, and the manager thinks that they are taking it out on us.

At that point, I just knew this was a waste and I was giving our neighbor the satisfaction of creating turmoil and drama.  Plus, making our manager’s life harder.  She has already been through enough this year.  I was just done.  We have made some alternative arrangements to my daughter’s babysitting schedule.  Changes that I can live with, that will hopefully provide peace for me and our family, without me feeling like I am having to give up everything and anything to make someone happy, that is hell bent on not being happy.  We have kept open the offer to meet with them.  We have not been up all night, nor are we still.  Yet, we also have the boundary that if there is anymore ceiling pounding, middle of the day normal living calls to us or the office, we will be filing a harassment complaint.

P~ Thank you God for Your guidance in this matter.  Thank you for my husband, who remained more calm than I did. My heart toward my neighbor is not where it should be, but it is getting better.  At first, I wasn’t even willing to meet with her, but now I am.  What this has shown me, is that I used to work with impossible people everyday, and was pretty good at it.  I am out of practice, and really need to stay connected to You, to not get “thrown off” by their craziness. Please help me with that.

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