Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Required Routine for 2018!

He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
Good: ethical, right
Require: ask for, demand
To Do: accomplish
Justly: attribute of justice, right, rectitude
Love: love
Mercy: kindness (especially as extended to the lowly, needy and miserable)
Walk:  associate, be familiar with
Humbly: keep close, reserve, preserve, retiring, modest, lowly

The Required Routine for 2018 is to:
1. Do justly
2. Love mercy
3. Walk humbly with your God

Each requires -
- a God perspective: what is good, ethical, right?
- an action: do, love, walk.
- a willingness: What does the Lord require?
- a personal relationship: your God

Required Routine - do justly, love mercy,
and walk humbly with your God. 

My prayer is that I can fulfill the required routine in 2018 and beyond. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Christmas Story Part 1: "To Cause To Be"

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Luke 2:1-3
It came to pass: "to cause to be"
Went out: 
to be made known, declared

Decree: ordinance; public law
Caesar Augustus: a title of the Roman emperor
World: equivalent to the Roman empire
Registered: to enter in the public records the names of men, their property, and income, to enroll

Census: an enrollment; by implication, an assessment- a taxing
took place: to be made, done, finished; to be established, enacted; implying a certain action
Quirinius: Roman governor of Syria
Governing: to be/act as governor of a province

Went: to pursue the journey (with a purpose) on which one has entered
Registered: tax, enroll
Everyone: when it denotes individually, every one of many

To cause to be.
I'm sure that everyone did not like the inconvenience of traveling and the idea of registering to be taxed. Yet, there was a divine purpose for that inconvenience — God's Word had to be fulfilled. Mary and Joseph had to be in Bethlehem so that Christ would be born as was told in Micah 5:2
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
To cause to be. 
Looking back on my life, I see times when I was required to do something, that I didn't particularly like at that time. However, now I can see the reasons and have a greater understanding of why God did what He did. 

To cause to be. 
God does have control and does people to accomplish His will. Yet, we also are given a choice to accept God as our Lord and Savior or not. 

God's gift of Salvation is free.
God's gift of Salvation is available. 
God's gift of Salvation has an eternal warranty! 
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

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

People vs plans.

I'm a planner. I like to organize what will happen when. I'm not much for being taken by surprise (although some surprises are really nice!). 

God is continually teaching me that His plan is much better than mine. He has to continually teach me because I often forget lessons learned.

This Thanksgiving/Christmas season, it's easy to become focused on what has to be done (cooking, decorating, etc) that we forget the people.

God reminded me again, yesterday, that people are more important than a timetable I created. Talking with people builds relationships and that leads to opportunities to share God's love and encourage others.

I'm learning to focus more on people and less on if the Turkey is perfect, or if the table is set with the best dishes, etc. Sometimes easy is better for all involved and then the attention can be given to those in attendance.

Think about it for a moment. What do you remember from past Holidays? I remember the silly things that happened, what we laughed about, or who was there. I can't tell you what dishes we ate off of, or how the table was set. 
Memories that are of people are the most precious. Memories created with smiles, laughter, and love last longer than the Thanksgiving turkey!

People vs plans. 
I am praying that I remember that, but if I forget, God will gently remind me again.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with opportunities to create memories with family and friends. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

In every moment. Through every situation.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1
Continually: continuance as indefinite extension; perpetual
His praise shall continually be in my mouth; not the "praise" of which God is the author, but of which he is the object; which is due unto him, and is given him on account of the perfections of his nature, and the works of his hands, and the blessings of his providence and grace; this, the psalmist says, should be in his mouth: his meaning is, that he should not only retain in his heart a grateful sense of the divine favours, but should express it with his lips; should both make melody in his heart to the Lord, and vocally sing his praise; and that "continually", as long as he lived, or had any being, Psalm 146:2. (John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible)
This verse could also be translated: 
"In my mouth are His praises continually, at all times will I bless the Lord." 
I will praise the Eternal in every moment through every situation. Whenever I speak, my words will always praise Him. Psalm 34:1 (VOICE) 
I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace. Psalm 34:1 (TLB)
In every moment. Through every situation. At all times. Continually. 

Reasons to praise (brag about) God Almighty should be shared at every opportunity. 

What are you excited to talk about? What flows from your mouth on a continual basis? 

In every moment. Through every situation. God is worthy and due praise. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Force to Overcoming!

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10
Strong: enable, increase in strength, to empower; be empowered
Power: mightily, with great power, vigor 
Might: force to overcoming immediate resistance
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Ephesians 6:10 (AMP)
Love the meaning of this verse. 


And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”1 Corinthians 11:24-25

Remembrance: a remembering, recollection, to call me (affectionately) to remembrance

Memories are triggered by many of our senses. A smell of cookies may take us back to our childhood days. Or a song may transport us to our first date. Remembering a moment in time can bring a smile, tears, or even a deep belly laugh. 

Yet, there are things and events which we forget as time passes. Things we thought we'd never forget. But as time moves on, our memories begin to fade. 

Christ knew that not only the disciples who lived with Him but those who would come after He was gone (us), would become preoccupied with life and forget the great sacrifice He made. The importance of that sacrifice. The reason Christ needed to die. Christ knew that we needed to make certain to REMEMBER. 

Remembrance: a remembering

Today, at my church Faith Baptist Winter Haven, we take time to remember the sacrifice Christ made. It's a time of reflection on what Christ did for us, and also introspection. 

A remembering. Read Luke 22—24

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4
Remember the Who, the What, the Why. Remember. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:33-34

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)

Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 33, 34: Provides Application

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Psalm 119:33-34

Teach. Keep. Give. Keep. Observe. 

Teach: a primitive root; properly, to flow as water (i.e. to rain); transitively, to lay or throw (especially an arrow, i.e. to shoot)
Keep: guard with fidelity, observe
Give: a primitive root; to separate mentally (or distinguish), i.e.(generally) understand -- attend, consider, be cunning, diligently, direct, discern
Observe: A primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc. be circumspect 

O Eternal One, show me how to live according to Your statutes, and I will keep them always. Grant me understanding so that I can keep Your law and keep it wholeheartedly. Psalm 119:33, 34 (VOICE)

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I will [steadfastly] observe it to the end.Give me understanding [a teachable heart and the ability to learn], that I may keep Your law; and observe it with all my heart. Psalm 119:33, 34 (AMP)

A teachable heart and the ability to learn — and apply what is learned. When we study God's Word, we should be learning and with that learning comes the responsibility to act on what we learn. 

A teachable heart and ability to learn. Oh, that would be my prayer each day as I study God's Word. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Overwhelmed? Need hope?

Keep my soul, and deliver me; let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You. Psalm 25:20-21

Keep: to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to
Soul: a breathing creature, life itself
Deliver: to snatch away, defend, escape—without fail
Ashamed: to be disappointed or delayed, be put to confusion
Put my trust: to flee for protection, have hope, make refuge
Integrity: completeness, morally innocence
Preserve: guard from dangers, to protect, maintain
Wait: look eagerly, to expect, vigilantly
Watch over my soul, and let me face shame and defeat UNASHAMED because You are my refuge. May honor and strong character keep me safe. VIGILANTLY I wait for You, hoping, trusting. Psalm 25:20-21 (VOICE)
Ever feel overwhelmed, like you are drowning? Can't catch your breath? When you feel like that, it's easy to be all consumed with fear and all-consuming depression. 
The Psalmist understood that feeling. That utter helplessness. But he also knew where to turn his attention — to God Almighty! The Psalmist would FLEE, RUN to God for protection, refuge and yes, even HOPE! The Psalmist vigilantly and eagerly waited on God. 

If you find yourself overwhelmed, run to God Almighty! He is a safe place of refuge and hope. Take comfort in God's safe arms knowing that He loves you and knows exactly what you are going through. Take comfort in God's love. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Refuge. Place of Hope.

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah Psalm 62:8

Trust: be bold confident, secure, sure, put confidence, make to hope
Times: continually, long, due season, so long as
Pour out: to spill forth,  gush out
Refuge: a shelter (literally or figuratively); place of hope

People, ·trust [have confidence in] God all the time. Tell him all your problems [ Pour out your heart before him], because God is our ·protection [refuge]. ·Selah [Interlude] Psalm 62:8 (EXB)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:30-32

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:
God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 30-32: Provides Goals
I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.I cling to Your testimonies; O Lord, do not put me to shame!I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart.Psalm 119:30-32
Have chosen: select
Cling: cleave to, figurative of loyalty, affection etc., sometimes with idea of physical proximity retained, to impinge
Will run:  to run for whatever reason, especially to rush

Three specific verbs. Three specific actions. Three specific goals. 

Make a choice. Stick with that choice. Continue to follow that choice. 

Will my actions and goals be determined by my desires, the desires the media (social/news) portrays, or will they be based on the solid Word of God? 

Three specific verbs. Choose. Cling. Run. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:29

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 29: Provides Understanding

Remove from me the way of lying, and grant me Your law graciously. Psalm 119:29

Remove from me - Take it from me; cause it to depart; let me not be under its influence or power.
The way of lying - Every false, deceitful, hypocritical way. We are not to suppose that the psalmist was addicted to lying, but that he felt he was, like all people, in danger of acting from false views, from wrong motives, or under the influence of delusion and deceit. 
And grant me thy law graciously - The knowledge of thy law; grace to obey thy law. The single word rendered “grant graciously” is a word which implies the idea of mercy or favor. It was not a thing which he claimed as a right; it was that for which he was dependent on the mercy of God.Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

"False News" is the buzz word of the day. But what really is "false news"? Is it news which we disagree? Is it news that shocks us? What is the determining factor that classifies news as false? 

The way of lying seems to be the way of life. People say whatever they want, if it promotes their cause, or justifies their actions. Oh, it doesn't matter if it's not based on facts—as no one check to see if it's true if it sounds good. 

However, God has set the standard. And "False" anything is not just an opinion, it's lying! We need to stop justifying sin and call it what it is. They only way to know the truth is to study the facts—and that begins with God's Word.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:28

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 28: Provides Encouragement 

My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your word. Psalm 119:28

Melts: to weep, pour out
Heaviness: depression (of spirits); concretely a grief, sorrow
Strengthen: confirm, establish, be upheld

My soul dissolves because of grief; renew and strengthen me according to [the promises of] Your word. Psalm 119:28 (AMP)

The idea of melting is not properly in the word, and the term weep would better express the meaning. His soul seemed to drop tears. It overflowed with tears. Yet there is an idea of abundant or constant weeping. It is not a gush of emotion, as when we say of one that he is “bathed in tears;” it is the idea of a steady flow or dropping of tears - slow, silent, but constant - as if the soul were dripping away or dissolving. Thus the idea is more striking and beautiful than that of melting. It is quiet but continuous grief that slowly wears away the soul. (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible)

Depression and grief are all consuming. It's like a heavy weight has been set on you. You feel like you are drowning and can't come up for air. 

Strengthen: uphold, rise up, endure

When we find ourselves overwhelmed, we need to turn to God and His Word. We need to fill our minds with His word so that our thoughts are focused on 
"things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." (Philippians 4:8) [For more on Philippians 4:8, start here:]

Will thinking on God's Word change your circumstances? No. Will thinking on God's Word remove your pain or frustration? No. 
So, why do it? Because what thinking on God's Word will do is give you a new perspective. You will focus on the facts of God. Remember God does not change. He was and is the same before you found yourself in the situation you are. He is still the same Almighty God that He was BEFORE whatever happened. In a life of uncertainty, ever-changing circumstances, God is the constant! 

If you find yourself melting, turn to the security of God Himself.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Blessing Celebration Day 2017 (2)

What an amazing Blessing Celebration day! 

This afternoon, I headed out to find a cup of coffee. Gourmet Goodies, YUM! has new coffee, so I decided to stop in there. And I learned that I had enough Belly Rewards for a free cup of coffee! AWESOME! (Yes, I did get some brownies too. They are my weakness.) 

After I got back in The Chariot, I was deciding what to do. I decided to drive around. I ended up stopping at Country Primitives Vintage Market. I walked past one area where they were unloading new products, I walked past and enjoyed seeing the rest of the store. As I was heading back to the entrance, I felt that I should go back and revisit that first area. I found some soups that looked good. But then the HOT sauces caught my attention. YUM! 

I asked a lady ("J") working if she had ever tried any. We got to talking and come to learn her daughter ("K") is having another back surgery. We spoke for a few minutes and I gave her one of my Blessings Celebration Day cards. Love those "God-designed appointments"! (Please pray for "J" and "K".) 

"Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness." 
Psalm 145:6, 7

Love bragging about my awesome God!

PS. My hot sauce is made by a Christian company! Proverbs 3:5-6 is on the label. "Suckle Busters". The Chipotle Pepper Sauce is really good... and hot!

For more on my Blessings Celebration, read this post:

Blessing Celebration Day 2017

I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness. 

Psalm 145:1-7

Utter the memory: gush out, abundantly, bubble forth with

Seventeen years ago, I coughed. Little did I know that cough would set off a chain of events that would literally change my life. BUT GOD knew. He had a specific plan.
Seventeen years. That's a LONG time to live in pain. BUT GOD has been faithful in caring for me!
Seventeen years. Looking back I could focus on all the things that went wrong with treatments, the disappointments, the frustrations, oh and there is the pain — BUT GOD has never left me nor has He forsaken me. Rather He has blessed me ABUNDANTLY! WOW, has HE!!!

Seventeen years. Today is my BLESSING CELEBRATION day! The day that I take time to UTTER THE MEMORY OF GOD'S GREAT GOODNESS!
Please join me in praising God today and let's talk about God's great goodness!
I'd love to hear some of God's blessings in your life! Please comment and let's DECLARE GOD'S GREATNESS today!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:26, 27

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 26, 27: Provides Knowledge

I have declared my ways, and You answered me; teach me Your statutes.
Make me understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I meditate on Your wonderful works. Psalm 119:26, 27

Meditate: commune, declare, muse, pray, speak, talk with, to ponder
Wonderful: to be surpassing or extraordinary

The more I understand who God is and learn of what He commands, I am not only to act in obedience, but I should be in awe of His extraordinary accomplishments. The more I ponder who God is and all He's done, then my heart is prepared to act in obedience to Him.

Learn. Understand. Meditate. Act. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Blessings Celebration! 17 Years

It's time to celebrate God's goodness! 
17 years. 
Next week, I'll enjoy my Blessings Celebration day, as I reflect on all the amazing blessings that God has given me over the past 17 years. Why only 17 years? Because it was on Oct 25, 2000, that I injured my back it led to me being given the title of "chronic pain sufferer".

"Create a positive day!" is more than just a by-line. It's a constant frame of mind that reminds me to see God's blessings each and every day. 

17 years.  Each year when I reflect on God's blessings, I'm overwhelmed by His goodness and mercy. I am also amazed at the wonderful surprises that God has given me. 
I enjoyed a ride in the Goodyear Blimp. I was in the pits at 2 NASCAR races, and I was at the Drivers Intro Stage during another race and was able to witness the swearing in of some Military heroes. Oh, and I live in a Castle with a Prince. :-) 
As I reflect on God's blessings, I continue to be amazed at God's creativity in supplying my needs. A pharmacy mistake provided me with a free very expensive medication. Contest wins provided some needs, and just fun encouragement, as well as gifts for others. Refunds that were 5 years in coming (medical bill overpaid). And so many other wonderful and creative ways that God supplied and still does. 

17 years. I'm thankful that God didn't tell me on Oct 25, 2000, that I'd be living in pain for 17 years plus. At that point and time, it would have been too overwhelming. Oh, but God knew that. 
17 years.  God has supplied each need and even wants along the way. And I'm so extremely thankful for His love and care. 

17 years.  "If God really loves you, He'd heal you." Really??! God has the power to heal me, yes. However, sometimes He chooses not to heal. There are many reasons why that I can think of, but God has His own very good reasons! One thing that I do know is that God has allowed my pain so that my faith and trust in Him would grow deeper. He has also allowed my pain so that I can come alongside others and encourage them. God has allowed my pain to put me in places so that I could share God's love. 

17 years.  There is much to celebrate! Please join me in taking time to reflect on God's blessings in your life. 
It's time to celebrate God's goodness!

Pray for Jami

Looking for some prayer warriors! 
My friend, Jami, has started a new series of medical treatments. This will be a long process and I'd like to get a team of people committed to praying for her. 
If you'd like to join me, please comment on the day(s) that you will pray for her. You can pick one a month (like on the 19th), or you can pick a day of the week (Wed), or pick several times (daily, 2x a week, etc). I'd like you to be specific. 
Please pray for the following:

1. Jami's spirit. Dealing with any chronic condition can be discouraging. When you don't feel well, the spirit needs extra support. Let’s be praying that Jami will be encouraged during the treatments. #GoJoy

2. Jami's treatments. That her body would accept the "army" that will help her heal. #GoArmy 

3. This prayer is a big one, almost seems impossible. BUT GOD! God has resources and means to provide. Let’s ask God to supply each and every need. (And if you want to donate, please do! The link is below.) #GoMoney

4. This prayer is all-encompassing. In Tune means that everything is working in harmony. That includes all aspects of life. Living with a chronic illness not only impacts the individual but the family and friends. Let’s pray that not only will Jami be “in tune”, but that God will bring peace and harmony to all those around her. #GoInTune


Let’s go TEAM!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:25

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 25: Provides Revival & Rejuvenation

My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word. Psalm 119:25

Revive: himself with fulness of life in his favor
According to your word: advice, answer, promise

“Quicken thou me according to thy word. By thy providence put life into my affairs, by thy grace put life into my affections; cure me of my spiritual deadness and make me lively in my devotion.” Note, When we find ourselves dull we must go to God and beg of him to quicken us; he has an eye to God's word as a means of quickening (for the words which God speaks, they are spirit and they are life to those that receive them), and as an encouragement to hope that God would quicken him, having promised grace and comfort to all the saints, and to David in particular. God's word must be our guide and plea in every prayer. (Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible)

Find yourself discouraged? We find joy, peace, and comfort in God and His Word. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:24

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 24: Provides Wisdom

Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. Psalm 119:24

Delight:  enjoyment, pleasure
Counselors: prudence, advice, purpose

He sought direction and advice from them as from a friend who would give him counsel. He looked to the revealed law of God to ascertain what was right; to know how he should act in the emergencies of life. (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible)

What should I do? How should I act? What should I say? Questions we all ask ourselves. The true answer is actually simple — do, act and say — exactly as God would. And we learn the specifics from His Word. 

Wisdom. Everyday practical wisdom. Available from the One who created us. The question comes down to — will I follow the advice of God Almighty? 

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:22, 23

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 22, 23: Provides Protection

Remove from me reproach and contempt, for I have kept Your testimonies.
Princes also sit and speak against me, but Your servant meditates on Your statutes. Psalm 119:22, 23

Kept: Guard with fidelity, keep, observe, to guard, to protect, obey

Meditates: to ponder  i.e. (by implication) converse (with oneself, and hence, aloud) or (transitively) utter 

What the princes did or said against him did not divert his mind, or take off his thoughts from the word of God, and the ordinances of it; he thought of them, he spoke and discoursed of them; he declared them — he was not afraid nor ashamed to profess his regard unto them. (John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible)

No matter what others say. No matter what others think. No matter what others may do. No matter — God's word is to be obeyed. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Happy First Birthday, Prince!

On Feb. 14, 2017, I met a charming kitty. His name was Prince and he needed a castle to call home. I knew of a nice castle that needed a Prince! So, I invited Prince to come live at The Castle. He has settled in very nicely and has made it his home. 
Today, Oct. 14, 2017, Prince celebrates his first birthday! Happy Birthday, Prince!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:21

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 21: Provides Judgment

You rebuke the proud—the cursed, who stray from Your commandments. Psalm 119:21

Rebuke: to chide
Proud: arrogant, presumptuous
Cursed: execrate
Stray:  go astray morally
Commandments: ordinance, precept

The sense is, “I propose and intend to keep thy law. As a motive to this, I look at the consequences which must follow from disobeying it. I see it everywhere in the divine treatment of those who do disregard that law. They are subject to the displeasure - the solemn rebuke - of God. So all must be who disregard his law; and it is my purpose not to be found among their number.” (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible)

Consequences. There are consequences for disobedience. And those consequences are not hidden—rather there are many examples throughout Scripture. Knowing that God does judge, should provide the motivation to obey Him. 

God's Word provides judgment and make is clear as to what is right and wrong. God's Word doesn't change to fit our circumstances and wishes. Rather God's Word remains steadfast and unchangeable — just as God does. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:20

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)

Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 20: Provides Longing

My soul breaks with longing for Your judgments at all times. Psalm 119:20

My soul: living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion 
Breaks: to crush; intransitively and figuratively to dissolve
With longing: desire
Judgments: divine law
At all: in all manner
Times: due season, so long as

(My soul breaks) expressive of the greatness, vehemence, and eagerness of his mind after the thing he desired — the righteous laws and precepts of God are designed, which he desired to have a more perfect knowledge of, and yield a more constant obedience. (John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible)

The desire for something is so strong, that it seems to consume your thoughts, and you find it hard to function, as you anticipate fulfilling that desire. That same desire is produced the more one studies and reads the Bible — and applies it. 

My prayer is for a longing for knowing God and living in constant obedience to Him. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:19

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 19: Provides Perception

I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Stranger: temporary dweller, new-comer with no inherited rights
Hide: be absent, conceal, keep secret
Not: never, no
Commandments: which was commanded, law, ordinance, precept

The feeling is that of one in a strange land who would desire, if possible, to keep up constant communications with his home - his family, his friends, his kindred there. On earth, the place of our sojourning - of our pilgrimage - the friend of God desires to have constant contact with heaven, his final home; not to be left to the desolate feeling that he is cut off from all contact with that world where he is forever to dwell. (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible)

Although I live on earth, I know that I will one day live with God for all eternity. Therefore, as I live on earth I need to remember to whom I belong (God) and that I have a job to do (honor and glorify God). In order to do that, I must keep my focus on God and His Word. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:18

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 18: Provides Perception

Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. Psalm 119:18

Open: denude, uncover
See:  look intently at, to regard with pleasure, have respect
Wondrous: to be surpassing, extraordinary 
Law: Torah, precept or statute

How often do I read Scripture, with my eyes covered? Covered by my ideas of what Scripture should mean. Covered by my limited understanding of a holy God. Covered by my selective memory and opinion. Covered by my circumstances. Covered by my sin. 

How often do I read Scripture with a prayer that my eyes would be "denude" so that I can see God's Truth? How often do I read scripture looking intently with respect at what God says? 

How often do I see God's extraordinary, surpassing anything I could image..... truth in Scripture? 

How often, when I do see an extraordinary truth, do I let it impact my life? 

My prayer...... Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law. Psalm 119:18

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:17

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 17: Provides Life

Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word. Psalm 119:17

Deal bountifully: benefit or requite; to ripen; to render good
With: according to
Servant: bondservant
Live: nourish up, to keep alive
Keep: guard; to protect, attend to, observe
Your Word: advice, thing about which one speaks

Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word [treasuring it and being guided by it day by day]. Psalm 119:17 (AMP)

That I may live - The continuance of life was dependent on the favor of God.
And keep thy word - For grace to do this he was equally dependent on God; and he asked that life might be continued, in order that he might honor the word of God by obeying it. (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible) 

Too often this is our prayer when we are in difficult circumstances— "Lord save me and I'll live a better life." Yet, once the circumstances is past, we soon forget our problems and our promise. 

This plea of asking favor from God has a specific purpose — that I might live a life in accordance with God's Word. A result of God's goodness and grace is a life that works to protect and carry out all that God requires. 

God's Word does provide life — if one makes a choice to know it and live it. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Study of Psalm 119. Psalm 119:16

This continues the study of Psalm 119.  (Start the series here:

God Provides (by Rhonda Sawtelle)
Psalm 119: God's Word....

vs. 16: Provides Position

I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. Psalm 119:16
Delight: to look upon with complacency (a feeling of quiet pleasure or security)
Statutes: something prescribed; phrases of obedience
Forget: to be oblivious of, from want of memory or attention
Not: ignorant, worthless
Word: spoken, advice, commandment, communication, reason, request, speech

A few weeks ago, a Catagory 2 Hurricane came through my area. The wind and rain were intense and it was pitch black as the electricity had gone out. As the storm raged, I felt such peace. And it wasn't because of the safety of the Castle.

The peace and safety weren't because I knew what would happen as the storm continued to slowly pass by. I felt peace and safe because I knew that no matter what happened, my God was ultimately in control. If the trees that were cracking and breaking outside landed on the Castle, then God would take care of the fixing of it all. If the roof shingles blew off, then once again, God would take care of the repairs. How? I had no idea. But I did know that God controls the wind. I do know that God cares for me. I do know that no matter what happened, God would remain faithful to who He is! God is never-changing and faithful. 

When I place my security in God's Word and I remember who God is and all that He says, it is then that I live in the position of safety and peace.