Thank you, Laurie L., for another great write up this week! 🙂 Happy Week 8, everyone!
Well, can you believe we are already 8 weeks into our challenges?! Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe in Hebraic thought, the number 8 means new beginnings! Before diving into the new challenge, I took a look at what we’ve been working on these past 7 weeks and I don’t know about you, but I am filled with overwhelming joy at the topics we have tackled, embraced, wrestled with, and have begun to take more notice of in our daily journey! Here’s a quick recap:
This very first week we worked on “bringing up the level” in our homes and focused on positive speech.
Like Abraham, our challenge this week was to step out in faith in some way and/or to step out of our comfort zone to do something we wouldn’t normally be inclined to jump up and do. The goal of this challenge was, ultimately, like our Father Abraham, to be a blessing to those around us.
To learn to quit with the “fear” thought process–no matter what comes our way and stop those thoughts of fear immediately–and instead think on truth and pray with ometz lev (strength of heart) just like our father Abraham.
So this week, our goal was to focus on walking in G-d’s commandments with the intent to elevate our souls and also the world around us. In the most practical of ways, this would be best exhibited in loving and serving others.
This week’s challenge involved being more intentional in focusing on Bible study–maybe try for at least 30-min. to one hour per day.
This week, we focused on self-control.
We learned to judge favorably.
WOW! I can’t imagine what else Hashem will provide for our hearts and lives over these next weeks in 5775, are you as excited as I am?! What an incredible and humbling journey it has been thus far.
Alright, a few weeks ago I came across some scripture in Colossians while I was reading up on something else, and the verses I will share with you just jumped out like they were brand new, had never been there before–which I know they were–but it was SO GOOD to see these words!
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that G-d will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Messiah, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:2-6
Do you ever find yourself in a situation when you are speaking with a friend or someone you are just getting to know, and they ask you about your faith or about specific things that you do or don’t do that totally are related to your obedience and faith? Are you always ready with correct responses in these situations? I know I’m not–at least not ALL the time. Usually, I either get so excited to share my journey and what Hashem has been teaching me that I start talking a mile a minute with no room for breathing, and then I stop to see my friend across from me with an overwhelmed look and a sympathetic smile. Or there are other times I just don’t say enough and leave the conversation feeling like there was this emptiness and I should have said something else because my answer just seemed so vague because perhaps I didn’t want to offend them and I didn’t want to deal with more questions. I need some work, and perhaps I’m not alone in this area?
So, when I read this letter to the Colossians that they should be devoting themselves to prayer, with thanksgiving, praying that G-d would make it clear for others in the way they ought to speak; and that we should conduct ourselves with wisdom toward outsiders and make the most of the opportunities we are given! Ah, and our speech should always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that we will know how to respond to each person–I said, “Thank you for this!”
May I challenge you this week to join me in the journey of applying these wise guidelines to our lives, so that when we are out and about and asked and questioned about our lives and faith that we may be found ready!
but sanctify Messiah as L-rd in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; (1 Peter 3:15)
I will bless Ad-nai at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in Ad-nai; the humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify Ad-nai with me, and let us exalt His name together. (Psalm 34:1-3)
Father, let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, Ad-nai our Rock and Redeemer. Blessings and shalom to you this week!