Think Bible!

Think Bible! is a blog/website that encourages you to do just what the title says, Think Bible!  Many ladies contribute to this blog and there is much there to ponder. There is something for everyone!  A recent post by a friend was a great encouragement to me in the area of rehearsing God’s Word instead my problems.

I feel privileged to be one of the contributors.  You can read my post on Adjusting to  Life on the Mission Field here.  If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you may have already read this.  Maybe a review will be an encouragement to you.  It was good for me to take the time to review the truths in that post!

Perfectionism and Unbelief

Many years ago, I was told I was a perfectionist.  At the time, it was a type of “diagnosis” of a problem that I had.  Being the type of person who enjoys research, I started reading up on perfectionism.  It wasn’t flattering as I saw myself in some of what I was reading.  I am more the “I’ll do it or die trying” than the “If I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all” type of perfectionist.  I started to realize what it was like to live with someone like me and started to work on changing that.  

Sometimes I think I have perfectionism licked.  Other times, I see it rearing its ugly head.  Although there is nothing wrong with striving for excellence, it becomes a problem when you are running over anyone that is in your way.  

Revive Our Hearts podcasts is having a series right now on perfectionism entitled When Life Doesn’t Line Up: The Crushing Burden of Perfectionism.  Out of curiosity, I began to listen.  The first episode, A Matter of Worship, was a good reminder to me of how far I’ve come.  I also saw a few areas that I need to work on.  The second episode, I’ll Never Measure Up, stopped me in my tracks.  

You may remember that my word for 2021 is believing.  When the Lord impresses on me a word for the year, He teaches me many things.  Sometimes these lessons come from surprising places.  Listening to that second episode was one of those surprising places. 

The episode is a discussion.  One of the women asked the questions, “Is it possible that a root of perfection is unbelief? That we are not trusting God when we are rising up to make everything around us go exactly as we think it needs to go? Are we at the root struggling with unbelief?”  The author of the book they were discussing responded, “I think that is very perceptive, because one of the reasons that I need to control things and I need to make everything around me just the way I think it ought to be is because I don’t have confidence that God is going to do good.” [emphasis mine]

As they continued to discuss this and situations where we don’t have the confidence that God is going to do good, I couldn’t help but think of times where that is true in my life.  Every time I try to manipulate circumstances for the outcome that I think should take place, I don’t have the confidence that God is going to do good.  Every time I nag my husband to do something the way I think it should be done, I don’t have the confidence that God is going to do good.  Every time I am trying to work the budget from every possible angle to make sure there is enough money for what is coming up or warn an adult child about a possible terrible outcome to some plan or action on their part, I don’t have the confidence that God is going to do good.

I would tell you that God is good. I would tell you that everything He does is good. (Psalm 119:68) After thinking most of the day on this podcast, I have realized that there are circumstances where my thoughts and actions are showing that I don’t believe that like I thought I did.  And so today, the Lord put His finger on something that He wanted me to know, a place in my heart where I am not believing that He is good and that what He does is good when it isn’t what I would have chosen.  

This is a very transparent blog post.  Maybe this is an area where you are lacking as well.  If so, leave a comment and let’s pray for one another.  I long to have that confidence that God is going to do good no matter what!!!

Making a Way


When the children of Israel were trapped and afraid
‘twix forbidding tides and Pharaoh’s tirade,
Jehovah commanded, and Moses obeyed.
As pitiful prayers filled an impossible place,
as Moses gazed into Jehovah’s dread face,
as the people of God needed infinite grace,
the mighty winds howled; violent waves dashed.
The seawaters quivered and the lightnings flashed.
The thunders boomed and the breakers crashed.
And when the sun arose on that terrible day
the children of Israel, through the misty spray, 
discovered their God had made them a way.
And many a Christian in the years that have passed
Though troubled by fears, though tired and harassed,
Have found the same God strong, sure, and steadfast.

—Robert J. Morgan

in The Red Sea Rules, pg. 85.

*photo from Moody Press/freebibleimages.org

The Value of Memorizing Scripture

If you have been visiting my blog for awhile, it will be no surprise to you that I have a passion for memorizing Scripture.  I have not done this perfectly. I have not been as consistent as I would have liked to have been over the years.  I have struggled with reviewing and retaining what I have memorized. I am a firm believer that something is better than nothing, so I keep plugging away at it.  

There are times in my life when the value of this practice is given a spotlight by the Lord.  When this happens, it motivates me to keep memorizing.  My recent circumstances were one of those spotlight moments.

These pandemic days are unlike any other time in my life.  I recently returned stateside to be with my daughter during her surgery and recovery. The last couple of weeks were a whirlwind of activity with packing bags, saying final goodbyes and trying to meet all the requirements necessary for Japan to allow me to enter the country.  It was all very nerve-racking and I must confess that there were times that I was feeling quite anxious about it all.

It was in those anxious moments that the Lord would flood my mind with Scriptures that I have memorized in the past.  Verses about His presence, His love and His power. Verses that reminded me that if I had to do my quarantine in a hotel in Tokyo alone instead of at home, He was still in control.  I would not be alone.

One particular passage that I have been reviewing during this time is Psalm 91.  I memorized it last year with an online group when the pandemic began.  Recently, the Lord brought some of the verses to my mind during one of my more anxious moments.  I decided to pull out the card with the verses on it and review it everyday until my departure. I also reviewed it on the plane when I was on my way.  I can’t tell you the peace that those verses brought to my heart and mind.  It was a peace that passes all understanding.  

If hiding God’s Word in your heart has not been a part of your life, I would like to encourage you to begin now. You will not be disappointed.  God will honor any effort no matter how small. 

If you would like some more encouragement or information about this spiritual discipline please refer to 31 Days of Scripture Memory or click on the tab in the header.  Comment below and let me know that you want to get started and I will pray for you.  If you already are a memorizer, what are you working on?  What motivates you to keep working?  Let’s encourage one another!

Little is Much

January 10, 2011 in South Carolina

In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling
To the harvest calling you.

Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.

When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
“Welcome home, My child, well done!” 

Little is much when God is in it,
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.

~Kittie L. Suffield

Pondering

“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

-Luke 2:19

Years ago, a very dear Titus 2 friend in my life encouraged me to ask the Lord to show me something new from His story during each Christmas season.  I have continued to do this each year.  I wish I would have started a list to write down all of the lessons so that I could review them each year.  One year in particular that comes back to my mind was the year that I meditated on the fact that Mary pondered in her heart.

There are many things that I ponder about.  Sometimes it is something that I want to remember and not forget.  Sometimes it is something that I don’t have an answer for.  Sometimes it is something that I know I should pray about, but I don’t know how to pray.  Romans 8:26 tells us that when we don’t know how to pray as we ought, His Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered!  What an amazing and comforting thought!!

At some point in time, I decided to add a page in my prayer notebook entitled pondering.  On this page I write the things that I don’t know how to pray about.  It might be a person I am burdened for.  It could be a situation that I know needs fixing, but I don’t know how to fix it.  It could just be something I see God doing and wonder what the outcome will be.

What a joy to look over that list and ponder over what God has done or is doing!  It’s not always easy, but God’s hand is in it and He is there!

What are you pondering over today? May I encourage you to give it to the Lord and see what He will do.

An Update and A New Bible Memory Project

I have safely returned to Japan.  There were a lot of requirements, but I was able to meet them all.  I thank the Lord that the final step of another cov1d* test upon landing was negative.  I was permitted to go home for my 14 day quarantine.  I couldn’t use public transportation or take a domestic flight, so my husband picked me up in Tokyo and we made the 5 hour trip home.  It was a long trip with little sleep.  One of the blessings of a quarantine is that I can catch up one some much needed rest…maybe!  HA!  I tend to try to play catch up on things, but I am trying to slow down a little.

My daughter has fully recovered from her surgery and we are amazed at what God has done.  Thank you to those who prayed!

This is also a good time for me to start a new memory project.  I was praying about what that should be when my favorite online memory group announced their latest project.  If you are interested in participating, please click on the button below.  As a disclaimer:  I do not participate in Lent, but there is value in memorizing Scripture.  I hope you will join us!

*This misspelling is deliberate. I have been flagged on other sites when I use that word, so I am trying to avoid that. I also don’t want that little pop-up that often arises when that word is used.  Thank you for your understanding.

Believing

My word for 2021 is believing.  I knew in the fall of 2020 that this would be my word for this year.  There were reasons for that that I won’t go into in this blog post.  At the time, I had no idea how much I would need the focus on this word in this new year.

I am preparing to return to Japan with all the Covid regulations for travel.  It is nerve-racking to say the least.  I saw the Lord open wide “the Red Sea” for my return to the states and I know that He can do it again, but oh how easily I forget.  It is so easy to get my eyes off of the Lord and onto my circumstances.  

Two verses have stood out to me at the beginning of this year.  I am memorizing them and adding them to my prayers.  Whenever I finish my prayers with these words from God’s precious Word, I am helped.  

“Lord, you have told me that if I would believe, I would see Your glory. Lord, I believe.  Help thou my unbelief.” 

-based on John 11:40 and Mark 9:24

I have seen the Lord help me in my unbelief.  So many times I pray about things and then pick the burden back up instead of leaving it with the Lord whose shoulders are so much bigger than mine.  I want to get to a place in my life where I am praying believing that I will see the glory of God!