Beth Moore’s Living Proof Ministries hosts Siesta Scripture Memory Team for 2015

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Beth Moore’s Living Proof Ministries hosts SSMT 2015

Get ready for SSMT 2015!
SSMT is only hosted every other year, that’s why I am so excited this is one of those other years! I have participated in SSMT twice (over the last 4 years). I can speak from experience that intentionally memorizing scripture over the course of an entire year has had a HUGE impact on my spiritual life. God’s Word is truly alive and active!  It will never return void. You will not regret one second you spend in scripture memorization – I promise!

I want to encourage you to join me in participating in SSMT 2015 –  memorizing 24 verses of you choice over the course of the 12 months of 2015.

Will you commit to joining me?  If so, let me know in the comments.

Below is a brief summary of what SSMT is and how to participate.  For full details, read Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2015 Instructions and Spiral Information.

So what exactly is SSMT?
SSMT stands for Siesta Scripture Memory Team. Beth Moore’s Living Proof Ministries (LPM) blog hosts SSMT every other year. As explained on the LPM blog

“We call this a Scripture memory “team” because that’s exactly what we are. We cheer each other on, hold each other accountable, and urge one another to make it to the goal – 24 verses systematically memorized in 12 months – through a process that requires significant practice.”

What is a Siesta?
SSMT stands for Siesta Scripture Memory Team, but why Siesta?
Beth explains on the LPM blog:

“Siesta” is just an endearment for “Sister.” I tried to say, “I’ll tell you what we are: We’re sistahs!” but spell-check switched it to “siestas.” It stuck and that’s been us ever since.

How does it work?

  1. If you are new to the LPM blog, you can find it by clicking here.
    To receive each new blog post in your email inbox, click the link for “RECEIVE FEED VIA EMAIL” and follow through entering your email, etc. as instructed.
    Here is what to look for:SSMT2015IntroScreenShot
  2. Go to the LPM Blog on the 1st and 15th every month beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
    By 8am, you will find a post regarding SSMT verses.
  3. ‘Clock-In’ by adding your comment to that post by entering:  
    -Your Name (first only if you prefer)
    -City
    -Verse and Translation
    Notes: Try to enter your comment within twenty-four hours of the post going up.
    You can be late posting, but try to avoid it.
    Limit comments to your name, city, verse and translation.
  4. Write the verse by hand in your spiral. This is a recommendation, not a rule.
  5. Register for the event on December 1, 2015. Watch the LPM Blog for registration details.
  6. SAVE THE DATE: January 16, 2016
    The Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2015 Celebration will on January 16, 2016 in Houston, Texas. There is no charge for the event. Your entrance fee is your spiral.
    To qualify to attend the celebration: *Log your comment in at least 21 out of 24 times. (Try for 24 out of 24!) *Bring your spiral to the celebration. That’s your ticket in. It can be digital (on your phone, etc) or a physical spiral. *Be prepared to say any 10 of your 24 memory verses to another Siesta during the celebration. DON’T LET THIS BE A DEAL BREAKER! It’s very informal, with a humungous dose of grace served up!

Again, I simply want to encourage you in memorizing 24 verses of you choice over the course of the next 12 months.
Will you commit to joining me?  If so, let me know in the comments. And I will look for you in Houston in January 2016!

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How I interrogated Santa.

Fingers Family and christmas

Image from GraphicStock.com

Santa always seemed a little creepy to me.
From sweaty department store Santas to the thought of some guy sneaking into my house through the chimney – yeah, a bit freaky. Of course I wanted the presents. And Mom and Dad so obviously wanted us to enjoy the surprise of it all. In our family, we went beyond leaving Santa cookies and milk. We left him an entire bottle of Pepto-Bismal and a spoon. For the massive tummy ache he must get from all the cookies and milk and flying around the world. And Santa must have appreciated this gesture because a little bit of the pink stuff always remained on the spoon after he took his prescribed dosage.  But there was that one Christmas Eve night.

Every year our family went Christmas shopping at Edison’s and Montgomery Ward in downtown Fort Worth. My sister and I always looked forward to this trip. We especially loved to look at all the jewelry we would never dream of buying. Just for the fun of it. And except for a few gifts, like the box of cigarettes we got every year for Daddy Ray, or things we ordered from the Sear’s catalog, we would get most of our family’s Christmas shopping knocked out in one fell swoop. The Year of the Candy Cane Note, my sister and I picked out some super cute animal hand puppets in Montgomery Ward’s. When we were done shopping my sister and I went back to the car with Mom, Daddy stayed inside to pay for our purchases … and I was old enough to get suspicious.

That’s when I devised the Candy Cane Note plan.
I methodically wrote a list of questions Santa was to answer, complete with yes-no checkboxes and a signature line. He had to verify his identity to my satisfaction. It was all very official. I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up. I secretly slid the handwritten note into an empty plastic candy cane and hung it on our Christmas tree just before bedtime on Christmas Eve. And on Christmas morning those hand puppets showed up in our living room from Santa. (I knew it!) But the note … yep, it was undisturbed, the questions unanswered, not even a signature.

I had single-handedly solved the mystery of Santa.
My insides said it was a proud moment. But I was surprised that I also felt sad. Sad and disappointed that I had been right. I remember sitting on the couch next to Mom and wondering if I should tell her about the note.

I felt gullible and stupid.
Like I was the last person on earth to know this truth. To this day I hate to be the last one to know things. I guess it’s just my personality – or human nature. But somehow, sitting there on our couch with Mom, I also felt that I should not let my parents know that I ‘knew’. I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe I was too embarrassed to admit that I had been fooled.

Maybe I just figured it was time to grow up.
I have always been a realist. Never the dreamer. So whatever the reason, it doesn’t really matter. I was the youngest, the cat was out of the bag, time to move on. I had interrogated Santa, and he had failed the test. Of course he had, he wasn’t a real person. Some part of me wanted him to be real … but a bigger part just wanted to know the truth.

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Sifting

Just wanted to remind you that there isn’t anything you go through that hasn’t already been sifted through God’s hands.

Yes, some things are consequences of our own decisions.

Some things are consequences of other people’s decisions.

Some are for our own … sifting.

But it is He who allows it all.

In some way it will all make you stronger as you depend on and follow Him through it!

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”  –Luke 22:31-32

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  –Romans 8:28

Have a blessed day all.
Stand Strong! 
-Lori

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Trusting Your Feelings

I’ve heard it said some people have head-knowledge of God without heart-knowledge.  Never allowing what’s in their head to move to their heart.

This morning I was reading a blog post from a friend of mine, Beth Moore. Don’t you just love the way technology allows us to have “friends” who wouldn’t know us from Adam if we met on the street? Anyway, my friend Beth was discussing “knowing” God is real. In her subsequent related post she sums it up as “The question conveyed on the post was about the time when you moved from believing God exists (Hebrews 11:6) to knowing (2 Timothy 1:12).”

That struck a chord with me and I began a thinkin

As women we are emotional creatures.
But we are warned, through Scripture, against unreservedly trusting our emotions, or feelings.

There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV)

We can sometimes misinterpret this warning to the extreme of completely ignoring our feelings, even when they are Scripture-approved-feelings (i.e, rejoicing in the unconditional love from our Savior). This can often lead us to suppress any feelings and emotions, including heart-knowledge, or knowing God.

If we never allow believing to lead to feeling, we impede the result of knowing.

Beware of shutting down all emotions.
Instead, employ God’s wisdom in interpreting and acting upon these emotions, putting them to the test through Scripture.

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Walking Ministry Minded

What does Jesus have to do with walking 60 miles over 3 days?

Jesus.

People.

Jesus and people. When we look at our life as a whole in light of this one relationship, it becomes pretty clear what is important and what is not.  This doesn’t meant we don’t sometimes get caught up in the less impacting.  But it helps to keep things in focus. So if people’s relationships with Jesus are what make something personal to me, how does that relate to this 3-Day Walk thing? It is what makes anything in life relate to Jesus and people.  People need Jesus.  I know Jesus.  I get to share Jesus with people! Sounds like a ministry opportunity to me!

Jesus met physical needs of people first. We see in God’s Word many examples of Jesus meeting the physical needs of people before their spiritual needs.  Many times we do not recognize our need for spiritual healing until we address physical issues.  More to the point, many times we do not recognize our need for spiritual healing until we, or someone we love, are in need of physical healing.

The 3-Day ultimately draws people together for one cause.  Finding a cure for breast cancer.  A physical need.  Most walkers and crew involved have been touch in some way by breast cancer. Many “Why I Walk” stories can be found on walkers websites and personal donation pages.  This event, though amazingly encouraging and inspiring, brings together thousands of hurting people.  Hurting people need Jesus. If we truly believe we are the body of Christ, His hands and feet, we cannot help but be overcome with compassion for the hurting.  Given the opportunity we cannot help but run to the hurting, reminding them how much Jesus’ loves them, wrapping them in His real, healing, infinite love. Given the opportunity we cannot help but run to those hurting … who have never heard how much Jesus loves them … who have never heard of His redeeming sacrifice for them personally.  What an opportunity He has given us to just “love on” people in His name!

Here are some of the physical facts (from komen.org):

ABOUT BREAST CANCER

  • Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and is the leading cause of death among women worldwide.
  • More than 1.4 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer globally each year.
  • More than 456,000 die from the disease each year.
  • Somewhere in the world, a woman dies from breast cancer every 69 seconds.
  • Incidence rates are increasing five percent annually in low-resource countries.
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure® partners with or funds programs in 50 countries to end suffering from breast cancer.
  • Virtually every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last 28 years has been impacted by a Susan G. Komen for the Cure® grant.

That last point that stuck with me …

“Virtually every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last 28 years has been impacted by a Susan G. Komen for the Cure® grant.”

One foundation that has impacted every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last 28 years?  That is making a difference in meeting a physical need.  That is worth getting involved … to His honor alone.

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Walking 60 Miles…3 Days…1 Cause

Ok.  I did it.
I signed up to walk 60 miles in 3 days.
What was I thinking? Oh yeah, I remember now … it’s for a “good cause”. But aren’t there a buzillion “good causes” out there all vying for my time and money?
You bet there are (oh yeah, I also remember I’m not a betting person – oh well.) So why did I commit to this one?

A few weeks ago I heard a radio ad for this 3-Day walk thing.  I thought, it sounded like a cool thing to do. The one in Dallas/Fort Worth is not even until November!  I have plenty of time to “train” for it.  And, if I commit to walk, it would give me a goal for getting in better shape physically.  I know I need to do something! AND … it’s for a “good cause” (there that is again!)

But 20 miles per day for 3 days? Well, I can at least go online and check it out.  So I did.

Oh, look, there is a “Get Started” meeting coming up …  hmm…  it wouldn’t hurt to go.  I don’t have to commit to it … AND … it’s for a “good cause” (again).

So one Wednesday night, I found my little good-cause-seeking-goal-to-get-moving self sitting in that “Get Started” meeting in downtown Fort Worth with a bunch of other ladies and men.  Some were first-timers to the 3-Day (like myself), others had walked before.  I saw a variety of ages, shapes and sizes. What I did not see was a room full of those skinny little athletic types.  You know, those whose physical form just screams “I run marathons”.   I began to think, these are real people, just like me.  If they can do this, so can I!  But then again ….

Why? I was hearing all about how life changing the 3-Day Walk is.  How I wouldn’t be alone in my efforts to train, fundraise and prepare for this “walk”.  But I kept wondering why?  Why do this?  What is so compelling for me about this one event? Why the “cause” of breast cancer research?  I don’t have immediate family impacted by breast cancer.  My family history does not put me at a higher risk for breast cancer.  It’s not personal for me.  Personal.  What is “personal” for me?

Personal. What is personal for me? Only one answer pops into my mind: Jesus.  Jesus is personal.  When all of life is stripped away of everything that will be gone one of these days, only my relationship with Jesus truly matters.  But not just for me … it is the only thing that will remain for any of us.  So what about those people who do not have a relationship with Jesus?  If I really want my life to make a difference, it boils down to sharing Jesus with those who don’t know Him.  That spills over into encouraging other believers to grow in their spiritual walk so they too can pass on the life-changing knowledge of our precious Savior.

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My Approval-Seeking Self

Hi, my name is Lori.

And I am an approval-seeker.

Nice to meet you.

May I sit down now, please?

So obviously I’ve been thinking a lot about this approval-seeking thang (yes, I said thang). In my previous post, 2011, I dove headfirst into how I am a self-proclaimed approval seeker.

Ok, but whose approval do I seek?
•those who I look up to
•those who I see and think, that’s where I want to be someday
•those who I want to model my life after

… hmmm … Isn’t there someone who fits this billing? Isn’t there someone who is all that? And what if, after I find them, I find out they are a flawed human being just like my approval-seeking self? (double gasp!)

In His Word, God gives us a blueprint for how we should live our lives. There are many people whose lives are lived out in the pages of scripture. Their heart-felt stories are divinely written. Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word is alive and powerful. 2nd Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is God-breathed and profitable. But we see it all come together “with skin on” in the life of Jesus Christ. We look to Jesus as our single standard of how to live … and love.  In Him we have the only model of perfection who ever walked the earth. There is no one else I can ever look to and expect to never be disappointed in some way!

He is always faithful1 Cor 1:9
He will never disappointRom 5:5

Now, before you get all preachy at me, I know good-and-well that I can’t earn God’s love.  He loves me just the way I am – always has and always will. There is nothing I can ever do that would make God love me any more or any less.Rom 8:38

But love and approval are two completely different species.  I love my kids no matter what they do, or don’t do.  Does that mean I always approve of things they do?  Of course not! God loves me rough-edges and all.  But do I sit back and use that as an excuse for not growing spiritually?  Eeek!  I would be scared silly to see where I would end up if I tried to go it on my own.

So is this approval-seeking thang just a character flaw I must learn to suppress? I don’t think so. God has created me with this bent toward approval-seeeking.  So it must be there for a reason, right?  (‘Cause God don’t make no junk!)  But I must learn to effectively use it in a God honoring way.  I must learn to turn this “character flaw” into my own Jesus barometer.  An internal gauge for how I am doing in my relationship, or walk, with Jesus.  When I feel that familiar insecurity of not measuring up (to other people), it is an immediate red flag for me to check my Jesus levels.

Am I spending time daily with Him?Psalm 143:8
Am I seeking Him above all else?Matt 6:33
Am I renewing my mind through reading His Word?Rom 12:2
Am I capturing every thought as obedient to Christ?2 Cor 10:5
Am I running my decisions by Him first?Prov 16:3

When my Jesus levels are full, I do not have those spaces that beg to be filled, looking elsewhere other than Jesus to fill them.  I am content in who I am because of Whose I am. When my focus is on Jesus, I am more prone to see others as He sees them … to react as He would react … to show more compassion … to, well … to live more like Him.

With God’s grace, Jesus’ shepherding, and the Holy Spirit’s nudging, I have the ability to wholeheartedly seek His approval, transforming my approval-seeking-self into a Jesus-seeking self!

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