A Spring Song of Worship and Praise adapted from Psalm 21 & 64

Jehovah-Mephalti – Lord my Deliverer

O Lord, I delight in Your strength! Yes, How great is my joy in Your saving power!

You bless me with the desires of my heart, keeping nothing from me.  For You meet me with gifts of good things, crowning my efforts with success. You give me life, a long life forever and ever. You make me glad with the joy of being with You.

 Please hear my voice when I pour out my heart. Keep my life safe from the fear of those who hate me. Hide me from the secret plans of the sinful and from the noise of those who do bad things. Their tongues are sharp like a sword. They use poison words like darts and shoot at me without blame. They are quick and are not afraid to hurt me.  For their heart and inside thoughts  are deep and pursue sinful things. These things rob me from the joy I feel when I am with You.

Because of Your loving kindness, I will not be shaken. I will pray as written in the book of Isaiah: 

 

“Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness;

Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together…”

For Your hand will find all who fight against You. Your right hand will find those who hate You. They will be made to trip and fall. Their own tongue is against them. But for the one who is right and good, they will be glad in You and will give You praise.  

O Lord, our deliverer, Your righteousness will prevail. In Your strength, I am glad! Yes, How great is my joy in Your saving power!

You continue to bless me with the desires of my heart, keeping nothing from me.  For You meet me with gifts of good things, crowning my efforts with success. You give me life, a long life forever and ever.  You make me glad with the joy of being with You.

A Spring Prayer of Petition and Blessing from 82, 83, & 94

 Jehovah-Hashopet – Lord my Judge “The Lord is the Judge. May He decide today” – Judges 11:27

O Lord, the God Who punishes, let Your light shine!prayer-2

God, put an end to evil; please show Your colors! Judge the earth and take Your stand. The evil that comes against me daily surely overwhelms me. As for the wicked, God, they brag and boast. They walk all over Your people. God, they abuse Your precious people. They take out anyone who gets in their way. They know nothing and understand nothing. They walk around in the dark.

Do the right thing for the weak and those without a father. Stand up for the rights of those who are suffering and in need. Save the weak and those in need. Set them free from the hand of the sinful.

Rise up, O God! Say who is guilty or not guilty upon the earth! For all the nations belong to You.

O God, do not keep quiet. Do not be quiet, O God, and do not hold Your peace. See those who hate You and make much noise. Those who fight against You have honored themselves. They make bad plans against Your people. They plan against those for whom You care. They plan together with one mind and make an agreement against You.

O Lord, the God Who punishes, let Your light shine!  God, put an end to evil; please show Your colors! Judge of the earth, take Your stand.

A Spring Prayer of Petition and Blessing adapted from Psalm 23

 Jehovah-Rohi: The Lord is my Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd. I will have everything I need.  He lets me rest in fields of green grass. He leads me beside the quiet waters. He makes me strong again. He leads me in the way of living right with Himself, which brings honor to His name. 

Yes, even if I walk through devastating dark times, I will not be afraid of anything, because He is with me. He has promised to guide and to help me every step of the way. This comforts me. He provides my every need.

He has poured oil on my head. Yes, I have everything I need.

For sure, He will give me goodness and loving kindness all the days of my life. Then I will live with Him in His house forever.

A Spring Prayer of Petition and Blessing adapted from Psalm 73, 78 & 79

Jehovah-Naheh – Lord who Smites

My eye will show no pity, and I will not let you go without punishment. I will make you pay for your ways, and for the hated sins that are among you. Then you will know that it is I, the Lord, Who punishes you. Ezekiel 7:9 (NLV)

Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?

 O Lord, the God Who punishes, let Your Light shine! Truly You are good to those whose hearts are pure. But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. They seemed to live such painless lives; their bodies were so healthy and strong. They didn’t have troubles like other people; they weren’t plagued with problems like everyone else. These fat cats had everything their hearts could ever wish for! They boasted against the very heavens, and their words strutted throughout the earth. Look at these wicked people— enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiplied.

Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?

I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain. So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. Then I realized that my heart was bitter and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant—yet even today, I still belong to You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. My health may fail and my spirit may grow weak, but You remain the strength of my heart; You are mine forever. How good it is to be near You! I have made You my shelter and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do.

O Lord, I am a sheep of Your pasture, I will thank You forever and ever, praising Your greatness from generation to generation. Help me, O God of my salvation! Help me for the glory of Your name. Save me and forgive my sins for the honor of Your name. Demonstrate Your great power by saving those condemned to die. And I will not hide these truths from my children; I will tell the next generation about Your glorious deeds, Your power and Your mighty wonders.

COMMUNITY: Lesson 8 Bonus Content

The Great Commission

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16: 15Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.com

Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally. Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age. Matthew 28:16-20

Your career and community service can be your outreach or mission field that will give you a platform to put your faith foundation into action. Having a job affords you room to challenge yourself, to exercise your God-given talents, and to share God’s love.  The commitment to community is the third step in building the foundation at leads to a life of excellence.

Scripture Memorization

“Love your neighbor”

As a woman of faith, community should matter to you.  Jesus said to the scribes in the passage of Mark 12: 28-34, “The first of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Why should community matter to you? Because Jesus said there is no other commandment greater than loving the Lord your God and loving your neighbor. In obedience to our heavenly Father, we are compelled to love others. And so this is why we serve in our community.

 

The Study

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Become a mentor page 45 in The Study.

“God did not call us to have lots of friends, but to be a friend” Dr. Bill Anderson

As a mentor and a life coach for 20 years, I am totally convinced that we can positively affect our community one person at a time.  We  must first realize our need to have a lifestyle that reflects the excellence of God. We must actually live out our faith putting God first in all areas of our life. It is imperative that the actions of life model the words spoken.

 

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
―    Mother Teresa

Mentoring is defined in the Merriam-Webster as “a trusted counselor or guide”.  A mentor is a coach, a tutor, or an advisor. One who speaks encouragement and wisdom to the one being mentored.  A mentor is an individual, usually older, always more experienced, who helps and guides another individual’s development. This guidance is not done for personal gain. To mentor, you must be sincerely interested in someone else’s growth assisting in goals setting and holding them accountable.

Be mentored page 45 in The Study,

Women’s ways of mentoring in the business world call it “wo-mentoring”.  It is a refreshing new approach that’s more about commitment and learning.  Women’s mentoring is about personal growth and development. You should pair with someone who, by her very nature, will challenge you.

New Rule of Mentoring: Everyone needs mentors. The old school taught that mentoring was for the young. The new style adamantly rejects such an antiquated notion.

The most important lesson that the women’s approach to mentoring has to teach: It’s not about a mentoring relationship. It’s about a mentoring mentality. You don’t need a single mentor. God can use different mentors during a lifetime.  You need is a mind-set that allows you to learn from those around you. My husband’s saying is “you are the average of the people you hang with” so with that in mind choose mentors who will challenge you, who are passionate about life, and foremost women who are in pursuit of living God’s way.

Please let me know your progress. I want to hear your stories. Take time to comment on this blog site.

Our pursuit of excellence demands that we have a routine of sharing our faith.  We have been called to share the biblical truth  about eternity with those we love. It is wonderful that we have the certainty of heaven but how much more joy we would experience  knowing that we are taking our family and friends.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” Matthew 28:19

I believe we are not bold when it comes to sharing the Good News, the plan of salvation. Why? Is it a possibility that we truly don’t believe that hell is for real or that a loving God would condemn good people to a life of eternal damnation. And if there is hell, an eternal separation from God, than it must only be a mere annoyance and mild displeasure. It certainly cannot be fire!

“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” Rev 20:15

When we truly understand the nature of the Holiness of God, we then will understand how unrighteousness and unrepentant violates His Holiness, insults His justice and be littles His grace. Jonathan Edwards is known for the most famous sermon preached in America titled, ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’. In that sermon he says,” almost every natural man who hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail.” God’s wrath is divine, fierce and everlasting. But God provided a way to escape His wrath by way of the cross.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9.

In your pursuit of excellence, make a routine that includes sharing this good news with your community.  Women of faith your community’s eternal fate should matter because Heaven is real and so is Hell.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16  
 

Promise

“love never fails”

Blessing 

“Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.”

A Spring Prayer of Petition and Blessing adapted from Psalm 26, 42 & 59

A Evening Prayer of a Woman of Faith

 As the deer desires rivers of water, so my soul desires You.my-soul-thirst-for-you

When I come in desperate need and meet with You, tears have been my food day and night. It is in You, Lord, that I find hope. I will praise You again for being near me. When my soul is troubled within me, You send Your loving kindness. You have given me a heavenly song that stays with me through the night.  I will praise You, my help and my God. 

O my Strength, I will sing praises to You. For You are my strong place.

O Lord, continue to stand by me for I have lived my life without blame. I have trusted in You without changing. Continue to test me and try me. Test my mind and my heart. For Your loving kindness is always in front of my eyes and I have walked in Your truth.  I will wash my hands of any guilt and will humbly approach Your altar.

O Lord.  I will speak with the voice of thanks and tell of all Your great works. For You are my strong place.

 I love the house where You live, the place where Your shining greatness lives.  As for me, I will live a life without blame. Make me free and show me loving kindness. My foot stands on a good place. I will give honor to You in the meeting of worship. In Your loving kindness, You will meet me.  I will sing of Your strength. Yes, I will sing with joy of Your loving kindness in the morning. For You have been a safe place for me in times of trouble.

O my Strength, I will sing praises to You.  For You are my strong place.

A Spring Song of Worship and Praise adapted from Psalm 103

Praise for God’s Love

Praise the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, praise Your Holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul.

 I will not forget Your acts of kindness. You are the One who forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.  You have saved my life. You have crowned me with loving kindness and mercy. I recognize that You have filled my years with good things. These good things have brought me much joy. They make me feel young again.

Lord, You do what is right and fair. Your grace and mercy is around me. You are slow to anger. Your love is unconditional and abundant. You correct my wrongdoing with tenderness.

As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is Your love to those who fear You. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, You have separated us from our sins. As parents feel for their children, You feel for those who fear You. You know us inside and out, and You continue to love us even with our faults. God, You alone make everything right.

My days are few. I grow like a wildflower in the field. This wildflower springs and blossoms when the wind blows over it, leaving nothing to show it was there; just like my life. Your love, though, is ever and always eternally present. Your promises and ever presence bring great comfort to me.  It is You, God that makes everything right for those who follow Your Covenant ways and remember to do whatever You say.

You have set Your throne in heaven, ruling over us all. You’re the King! I will praise You Lord, O my soul!

A Spring Prayer of Petition and Blessing adapted from Psalm 40, 41 & 43

 Heavenly Father, do not wait. You are my Help and the One Who sets me free. 

How happy is the one who has made the Lord their trust. 

Many are the great works You have done. No one can compare with You! If I were to speak of all You have done and tell of Your good deeds, there would be too many to number. I have shared the good news about what is right and good. I have never closed my lips, O Lord.  I have not hidden Your righteousness and goodness in my heart. I have spoken about how faithful You are and about Your saving power. I have not hidden Your loving kindness and Your truth. I am happy to do Your will. Your Word lives within my heart.

You are my Help and the One Who sets me free.

 I trust You and have come to You with my pain and fears. Have loving kindness for me. Raise me up and set me beside You forever. You do not answer quickly and I know that I am impatient, but I will not give up on waiting for You. O Lord, have loving kindness for me. Heal my soul for a friend of mine whom I trusted has turned against me. You, however, have turned to me and have heard my cry. Even though I have sinned and have not handled my trouble well, I know You will bring me up out of turmoil and despair. You have faithfully set me on a rock, making my feet sure. You put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise. I sing for You because all hope is in You. O Lord, Your compassion stays with me. Your loving kindness and Your truth always keep me satisfied. Be pleased to save me. Hurry and help me. Let all who look for You experience Your joy. May they also be glad in You. Because I am in need, think of me.

Please do not wait. You are my help and the One Who sets me free.

Stand by me, O God, and speak in my favor against a sinful nation. Save me from the lying and sinful man. For You are the God of my strength. Send out Your light and Your truth. Let them lead me. Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to the places where You live. Then I will kneel before Your altar, God of my joy, and I will praise You. Honor be to You, the God of Israel, forever and ever!

Let it be so for You are my hope and the One Who sets me free. I will praise You, my help and my God.

MARRIAGE: Lesson 7 Bonus Content

 SERVE EACH OTHER IN MARRIAGE   A husband and wife who walk in love, unity and mutual respect for each other is God’s intentional design for marriage.

Scripture Memorization

Ephesians 5:22 NIV

“Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the LORD.”

The Study

Submission?

When I think of submission to my husband, I view it as a journey of joy and privilege. I choose every day to walk beside him and  support his many endeavors. This walk with my husband has been filled with wonderful adventures but also challenges. With each challenge we continue to face head on together.  I am mindful with every step that we are ‘One’  and  thankful for the man I chose 40 years ago  to walk beside. Submitting is truly bending down to raise up with the utmost respect .

 1 Corinthians 13       The Way of Love    The Message

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.    Love never gives up.    Love cares more for others than for self.    Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.    Love doesn’t strut,    Doesn’t have a swelled head,    Doesn’t force itself on others,    Isn’t always “me first,”    Doesn’t fly off the handle,    Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,    Doesn’t revel when others grovel,    Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,    Puts up with anything,    Trusts God always,    Always looks for the best,    Never looks back,    But keeps going to the end.8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8 (MSG)

A close friend, a single woman, said to me not long ago, “if it were not for you and your husband, I would not believe that a faithful loving marriage was possible.” Your relationship with your spouse is a testimony to others of the goodness of God and His faithfulness. A faithful loving marriage is possible for you when we are obedient to His guidance.  Proverbs 3:6 In everything you do put God first… The heart of submission is filled with love and respect that only God can provide. It is the power of the Holy Spirit within you that gives strength and courage to persevere through challenging chaotic moments in a marriage. Ephesians 5:21 says, Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. And after 45 years of married life, I can attest that it is a workout! Marriage isn’t easy, but NEVER GIVE UP! Stay the course of excellence in your marriage relationship. It is never too late to develop these attributes of unconditional love and respect in your marriage. Be committed, be loving, be respectful, but most of all be faithful renewing your mind to whatever is true, whatever is respected, whatever is right, whatever is pure.  God, who makes everything work together, will work into your marriage His most excellent harmonies.

THE STUDY

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READ Ephesians 5: 18-21.

To serve each other in marriage is a foreign word in today’s world. But lets consider what is means to submit.  The wonderful truth to submission is found in vs. 21 “submitting to one another“. This means it is both ways. The husband and wife lovingly desires to serve, to lift up, and to fulfill each others’ longings. They are willing to set aside their immediate needs, preferences and comforts in humble sacrifice for each other.  A mark of a marriage that’s filled with the Spirit there is mutual submission.  The key to the act of submitting is stated in vs. 18  “be filled with Spirit“. When you are filled with His Spirit you are changed and you give from the heart.

Incorporate the following 8 disciplines of love in your marriage relationship

couple0301.Respect your husband.  A man’s greatest need in this world is to be respected, and the person he desires that respect from the most is his wife. The trap that we’ve all been ensnared by is that they only deserve our respect when they earn it. Yes, we want our husbands to make decisions that will ultimately garner our respect, but the truth is that your husband is a human being. A human being who makes mistakes. This is the man that YOU have chosen to walk alongside you for the rest of your life, and to lead your family and he needs to be respected for that quality alone.
2.Guard your heart.  The grass is not greener on the other side. Guard your heart from things and people that will try to convince you that your life or your husband is not good enough. There will always be bigger, faster, stronger, or shinier – but you’ll never be satisfied with more until you’re fulfilled with what you have now. Live the life you have been blessed with and be thankful.
3.God, husband, children…in that order. My faith is of utmost importance, so God comes first in my life no matter what. Because of your faith foundation, your husband should come before your children. You cannot effectively parent your children if your marriage is falling apart. There will also come a time when your children leave the house to pursue their dreams as adults. If you have not cultivated a lasting relationship with your spouse, you will have both empty nests and empty hearts.
4.Forgive.  No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Forgiveness a decision you make daily for everything from major mistakes to little annoyances.
5.Communicate. Talk to him about everything. He is your best friend and always speak highly of him.
6.Schedule a regular date night. Be lovers.
7.Never say the “D Word”.
Plain and simple, threatening divorce is not fighting fair.
8. Choose to love. Marriage is a commitment. In sickness and health, in good times and in bad. Those vows are sacred.  “In good times and in bad”, implying that there will be bad times. It’s inevitable. So choose to love anyway. Your husband is worth it.

 A faithful loving marriage is possible for you, but obedience to Proverbs 3:6 is key, “In everything you do put God first…”

The heart of submission is  filled with love and respect that only God can provide. It is the power of the Holy Spirit within you that gives strength and courage to persevere through challenging chaotic moments in a marriage.  Ephesians 5:21 says “Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.” And as this lesson’s memory verse says,  we submit to our husbands as to the LORD.   After 40 years of married life, I can attest that it is a workout! Marriage isn’t easy, but NEVER GIVE UP!  It is never too late to develop these attributes in your marriage. Stay the course of excellence in your marriage relationship. Be faithful, be loving, be respectful, be humble and most of all be committed. And your reward will be God’s richest blessings on your marriage.                                 

                 

               PROMISE     

“the two shall become one flesh”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BLESSING

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

A Spring Song of Worship and Praise adapted from Psalm 147, 148, 149 and 150

Jehovah-Sabaoth – Lord of Host 

Praise the Lord! Praise God in His holy place! Praise Him in the heavens of His power! Praise Him for His incredible works! Praise Him for all His greatness! Praise Him with dancing and with loud clear sounds.  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

It is so good to sing praises to my God.  It is pleasing to Him. My praise is so right. He heals my broken heart and heals my many sorrows. Great is my Lord, and mighty in power. His understanding has no end.  God favors those who fear Him and those who wait for His loving-kindness. His goodness brings a song to my lips. I will sing to my Lord daily with thankfulness and praise. His goodness makes me sing a new song and His wonderful name moves me to dance. The Lord is happy with me. He saved me and has made me beautiful. My pursuit is to be God-like and full of His joy and His honor. I will sing for joy and the high praises of God will be on my mouth. This is an honor for me to give my daily praise to my Lord and Savior.

God sends His Word to the earth. And His Word runs fast. God knows the number of the stars and names them all. He covers the heavens with clouds. He gives rain for the earth. He makes grass grow on the mountains.  He gives food to the animals, and to the young birds that cry. He gives snow like wool. He spreads ice like ashes.  He throws down His ice as hail stones. He sends out His Word and melts the hardened stones. He makes His wind blow and His waters flow. God spoke and His creation came into being. He has made it last forever and ever.

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens! Praise Him on high! Praise Him, all His angels! Praise Him, sun and moon! Praise Him, all you shining stars!  Praise Him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let all creation praise the name of the Lord!