Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~31 Day Challenge~ February 11, 2014

This past weekend my husband and I attended a marriage conference at our church.  It worked out so that all of our Life Group members were there as well which has provided ample subjects to dive into during our meetings!

We met with our friends last night and one thing that we all agreed on was the speaker’s challenge to read through the book of Proverbs in 31 days.  One chapter a day.  That seemed feasible and we decided to go at it as a group and hold one another accountable.  In an attempt at helping our group stay focused and see this thing through to the end, I’ve decided to write each day on what we read.  I don’t typically post every day so this will be a stretch for me.  But I think it will be good for me, our group members and even some of you that I’ve never met.

Now that I’ve explained what, let’s dive right in!

proverbs

Proverbs 1

From the very beginning, the author tells us what the purpose of the book is and to whom it applies.

These are the wise sayings of Solomon,
David’s son, Israel’s king—
Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right,
to understand what life means and where it’s going;
A manual for living,
for learning what’s right and just and fair;
To teach the inexperienced the ropes
and give our young people a grasp on reality.
There’s something here also for seasoned men and women,
still a thing or two for the experienced to learn—
Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,
the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women. (Vs 1-6)

The purpose of the entire book of Proverbs is to teach us how to be wise, self-disciplined and live a successful life.  Yeah, I want that.

Perhaps the best part about the above verses is you know right up front that it offers something for everyone:

The new Christian and the veteran.

The simple learners and the most educated minds.

Men and women.

Young and old.

The very next verse tells us that the foundation of all wisdom is fear of the Lord.  When we submit ourselves to the Lord, He shows us things that we couldn’t possibly comprehend without His divine nature.  What once seemed confusing and frustrating can become crystal clear when we trust and fear God and his perfect plan for our lives.

Dear Lord, I pray over these next 31 days that you would reveal things to us that we’ve never known before.  I ask that you open our minds and soften our hearts that we may be receptive to your teachings.  Remind us that you left us this book so that we would have an answer for all of life’s many, complicated situations.  I pray that the words we read would strike a chord and relate directly to each and every need or question we may have.  And may it settle deep within our hearts, hidden there for us to recall at times when we need them most.  Amen.

Please join my friends and I as we go through one of my favorite books of the Bible.  We all will glean something different so let us encourage one another with what we learn.

 

~How Yoga Gave Me Insight~ May 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 6:45 am
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Yoga2I enjoy experimenting with different forms of exercise in order to keep from becoming bored and ultimately quitting all together.  Once I discovered yoga, I was hooked.  I grew up as a dancer so I could easily relate those old skills to the balance and concentration that it took to do most of the interesting poses.

One day as I was practicing my “ohm” face, I nearly face planted when my two-year old gave me a little nudge while I had one leg lifted dangerously high behind me.  (Note to self: don’t do complicated balance poses in presence of little children).  She had been underfoot the entire time, but I didn’t have any trouble keeping focused and in control as long as both feet were planted firmly on the floor.

That’s when the thought came to me of how my yoga skills were quite like my faith.  When I stand with both feet digging in, I am practically unmovable.  (Notice I said “practically”, I am sure Ray Lewis could take me down).  But lift one leg and I become as unstable as a sapling in a windstorm.  In the same way, when I am grounded in the Word of God, deeply rooted in Him, my faith is steady, unshakable and firm.  However, if I allow myself to lose that focus, I open myself up to becoming subject to the numerous false teachings that beg for my attention.  My faith will no longer be like that tree that is planted along the living waters but more like a dandelion whose soft white bristles scatter at the slightest movement.  This is what the Scripture means when it says:

“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

(Colossians 2:7 NLT)

The deeper our roots go, the sturdier our foundation will be.  The sturdier our foundation is, the more fruitful our lives will be.  And the more fruitful our lives become, the more thankful we will be, even when to the outside world, we have absolutely nothing to be thankful for.

“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

(Ephesians 3:17 NLT)

May the love of God strengthen you today as you face whatever challenges that attempt to knock you off balance.