Diagramming Scripture

Diagramming Scripture

  • Names of God
  • Action words
  • Words of intention
  • A command for us
  • Characteristics about God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit
  • Characteristics about us in our rebellion
  • Characteristics about us after we are redeemed
  • Characteristics of God’s Word
  • Consequences of rebellion
  • Results and rewards of obedience
  • A promise from God
  • The words IF, THEN, THEREFORE, ALWAYS, BUT
  • Things God will do and things we are to do
  • Place your name where there are personal pronouns.

Diagramming Scripture is another way to interact with scripture to make it come alive for you personally. It’s a partner with Scripture Writing. Use your favorite pens and circle, underline, draw arrows, or squiggly lines in your scripture writing. Have fun highlighting truths, and enjoy the colorful results of finding all that you can in your scripture writing for that day. Then apply the scripture to you, making it personal, acknowledging how the truths impact your life. Pray the scripture back to God and thank Him for the power of His Word.

©️Valerie Rumfelt

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You Will Love Scripture Writing

Scripture Writing was a newly discovered discipline that I added to my journey with Jesus years ago. Amazement filled my heart when I discovered people who combined their creativity with intentionality to produce countless options of monthly guides for writing the holy scripture.untitled

Every day is a new day, a new beginning. You can start new practices and routines any day. Do you need a new spiritual habit that promises to yield instant results? Scripture writing is for you!

Here are 8 reasons why you will love scripture writing:

1. Interacting and writing God’s Word is supernatural and transformative.

2. Writing God’s Word gives your brain time to capture the meaning.

3. Writing God’s word is inspiring and encouraging.

4. Reproducing the scripture in your handwriting makes them personal, helping you own the verses.

5. Focus is put on God at the beginning of the day, and you sense His presence.

6. Peace comes as writing slows you down to think and let His Word absorb in your mind.

7. Order and focus are added to your quiet time as you write that day’s scripture.

8. Anticipating the next set of scriptures each morning keeps you coming back for more.

Before you begin, you will want to find a notebook and pens designated for this spiritual practice. Find a scripture writing for the month here.  Print it. Find a favorite spot in your home where you can practice this uninterrupted.

Now you are ready to begin:

  • Set your alarm to add this to your schedule
  • Get your coffee or tea or breakfast
  • Go to your special place
  • Locate the passage in the Bible 
  • Look at the passage for that day
  • Read it silently
  • Write it
  • Read it aloud to yourself
  • Diagram the passage (see blog above)
  • Ponder what God is saying and begin your prayer time

By the time you take these steps, insight comes.

Before you leave to get busy with your day, take time to write a few thoughts or a prayer to God. You may have questions, a prayer of thanks, confession, or a commitment to obedience.photo-1481624362406-b7817fa45ecf Photo by Unsplash

Other tips:

  • Capitalize the pronouns related to God or Jesus.
  • Place your name in the verses where there are personal pronouns. Look for action words or commands, promises. 
  • Minimize phone usage. What’s the point of quiet time? This is your intentional time with God, the Lover of your Soul. Make your adjustments and make your time with Him a priority.

WARNING:

If you haven’t had a very intentional quiet time with Jesus, expect obstacles and opposition, but don’t allow those to discourage you. Hearing from the Lord through His Word, and praying to Him are the most important things a Christian does to grow and abide in Him. It is the essence of who we are as His people. It develops us into who we can be for His Kingdom’s use. Don’t give up.

BLESSING:

You will feel accomplished and have new freedom in your spirit as you put this practice in your life. Interacting with God’s Word is a good practice. Even if He convicts you of sin, just confess it. Ask Him to help you be more like Him. Jim Elliot said, “Why do you need a voice when you have a verse.”

“the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

If you have a Bible that’s falling apart, you’ll have a life that’s not.

Adrian Rogers

©Valerie Rumfelt

It would be a joy to have you as a regular reader of my blog. Please leave your email below to receive an email alert each time I publish.

Do Not Be Anxious – How?

Philippians 4:6-8

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

While this is a familiar passage, when I read it for understanding I ask some questions. Maybe my questions will give you a fresh perspective on a familiar passage to most Christians. My thoughts go like this:

What’s the command? Do not be anxious.

What’s the alternative to anxiety? I can present my requests to God.

How do I present my requests to God? By prayer – petitioning God, but also thanking God for all He’s done and will do.

What is the assurance or promise stated to happen when I do this? The peace of God will come into my heart and my mind.

How big is this peace? It transcends all my understanding and has the ability to guard my heart and my mind.

What does this peace which transcends all understanding do? It guards my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. We are “in Christ” when we know God through Jesus. We are hidden. We are safe. We are in His protection.

©Valerie Rumfelt

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How to Leave Disappointment Behind(Ways to Move Into 2023)

Do you have disappointments from 2022? Maybe you wonder how to pass from this year into 2023 because disappointments have left you wondering, what now? Disappointments come like a boulder careening down the side of cliff, and then rolling to the shore line, and slipping heavily into the water, sinking. Gone.

What is gone? Your expectation. Your hope. Your dream. Whatever it was, disappointment steals. This is where we have to be careful because bitterness moves in. Bitterness will have us questioning God, not in faith building ways, but in ways that cause us to doubt His goodness. So how do we move on? 

Psalm 13 lets us hear from David and he’s asking the LORD, how long? Is the LORD going to forget him? But, by verse 5, we see a rejoicing heart. David rejoices in God’s salvation. Not in circumstances. Not in outcomes. But in God’s salvation.

And this friends is where you and I can begin as we ponder letting go of a year. Maybe your year was fantastic, but even if it was, it would be really extraordinary if you had not experienced at least one disappointment. So how do we let go of disappointment? How do we move beyond this sad, controlling emotion of our human condition?

Ways to Move into 2023:

*Choose to go to the Lord and thank Him and praise Him for your eternal salvation. Rejoice. What a great salvation it is. He saved you. He saw you. You are known. He knows your name. Read Psalm 13.

*Remember He has a plan for your life. If you are His child, His Spirit lives in you. You have a friend in Jesus. 

*Confess your sin to Him. Confess your disappointment in the outcomes, or in the disappointment of family or friends. Forgive those who brought pain. All this keeps bitterness from developing in your heart. Rejoice. Choose to be glad. Read Psalm 32.

*Exercise and eat right because this, along with your spiritual habits impacts your ability to cope.

*Start a new habit or keep up the habit to meet Him every morning and read His Word and pray to Him. This gets your day started in submission to His plan and His ways. Pray for this desire to meet Him every morning. Read Psalm 42.

Let’s read Psalm 13, Psalm 32, and Psalm 42 and let God’s Spirit speak to us and get a path for entering the new year, leaving disappointments behind and realize that God is in control. Let’s go with His plan. He is worthy of our trust. He is with us.

Happy New Year!

©️Valerie Rumfelt

How to Leave Disappointment Behind(Ways to Move Into 2023)

Do you have disappointments from 2022? Maybe you wonder how to pass from this year into 2023 because disappointments have left you wondering, what now? Disappointments come like a boulder careening down the side of cliff, and then rolling to the shore line, and slipping heavily into the water, sinking. Gone.

What is gone? Your expectation. Your hope. Your dream. Whatever it was, disappointment steals. This is where we have to be careful because bitterness moves in. Bitterness will have us questioning God, not in faith building ways, but in ways that cause us to doubt His goodness. So how do we move on? 

Psalm 13 lets us hear from David and he’s asking the LORD, how long? Is the LORD going to forget him? But, by verse 5, we see a rejoicing heart. David rejoices in God’s salvation. Not in circumstances. Not in outcomes. But in God’s salvation.

And this friends is where you and I can begin as we ponder letting go of a year. Maybe your year was fantastic, but even if it was, it would be really extraordinary if you had not experienced at least one disappointment. So how do we let go of disappointment? How do we move beyond this sad, controlling emotion of our human condition?

Ways to Move into 2023:

*Choose to go to the Lord and thank Him and praise Him for your eternal salvation. Rejoice. What a great salvation it is. He saved you. He saw you. You are known. He knows your name. Read Psalm 13.

*Remember He has a plan for your life. If you are His child, His Spirit lives in you. You have a friend in Jesus. 

*Confess your sin to Him. Confess your disappointment in the outcomes, or in the disappointment of family or friends. Forgive those who brought pain. All this keeps bitterness from developing in your heart. Rejoice. Choose to be glad. Read Psalm 32.

*Exercise and eat right because this, along with your spiritual habits impacts your ability to cope.

*Start a new habit or keep up the habit to meet Him every morning and read His Word and pray to Him. This gets your day started in submission to His plan and His ways. Pray for this desire to meet Him every morning. Read Psalm 42.

Let’s read Psalm 13, Psalm 32, and Psalm 42 and let God’s Spirit speak to us and get a path for entering the new year, leaving disappointments behind and realize that God is in control. Let’s go with His plan. He is worthy of our trust. He is with us.

Happy New Year!

©️Valerie Rumfelt

BIRTHDAY

Because Jesus came, we have a Savior.

Incarnate means He was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit and God in the flesh. Divine and human He is.

Reborn is a spiritual new birth that comes to all who believe in His Name.

Tempted He was, but He never sinned. Perfect Jesus. Perfect sacrifice. Yet identifying with us in our weakness.

Holy is He. Righteous and Just in all His ways. God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

Demonstrated His love, dying on the cross. Love unbounded for you and for me.

All is well. Peace in every sinner’s heart who asks Him, “come and dwell.”

Yonder star to Bethlehem they followed. In a stable, Christ the Lord was born.

Happy Birthday, Jesus.

©Valerie Rumfelt

The Solution to Everything

Sometimes, certain Christian music can land on my spirit in a way that shows me how close the Lord and His Spirit are to me. A song that focuses on the character of God and His love for me transcends past my self-protected shield and targets the softest places in my heart. Does this happen to you too?

Yesterday on social media, a national speaker recommended a song. It caused me to research it. Then watch it. The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sings, “I Love the Lord.” Their soulful style pierces the depths of me, cuts through my shame and guilt, and affirms my love for the Lord. Praise His Name.

The song was written in the 17th century by Isaac Watts. And when I wonder about that era of time, what was going on then, I conclude, as Solomon says, “nothing new is under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). That means nothing is new, nothing. The same human nature has existed all this time, and Isaac, for whatever reason, was making a claim that, in spite of this fact, he loved the Lord.

The test of the Christian life is loving the Lord through the hard and challenging times. Each challenge can purify our hearts and make us more like Jesus, or we can choose to allow bitterness to creep in and like a tarnished, silver spoon, be unusable and dull.

If we long to be faithful to God, we will learn through it all to love Him, not the outcome of our problems. We let Him mold us, and we learn how to keep fellowship with Him through spiritual disciplines, instead of keeping Him at a distance. We learn our need for Him is far greater than whatever our plea is at the time. It is His love, His character, and His faithfulness that help us in our weakness and temptation.

We learn as Habakkuk proclaimed in his suffering, “yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:18).

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For me, as I continue through all the bumps and bruises of life, the unexpected disappointments, the spider webs in my face situations that I can’t get rid of, I realize I still love the Lord. I have learned that loving the Lord is no longer my challenge but is my solution to everything.

I LOVE THE LORD

I love you, Lord; you heard my cries,
and pitied every groan;
Long as I live, when troubles rise,
I’ll hasten to your throne.

I love you, Lord; you bow your ear;
you’re ever good and just.
Then let my heart feel no despair!
Your power has all my trust.

If you behold me sore distressed,
you bid my pains remove;
I’ll turn my soul to you, my rest,
and witness to your love.

Isaac Watts 1719

I love the Lord because he hears my voice
and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:1-2

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Imagine a New Life

Yesterday morning in church, we sang a medley of songs about heaven as well as grace. While singing, my mind pondered how freeing it is to live a life indelibly marked by God’s grace. None of us deserve God’s grace. Maybe as a believer in Jesus, you have wondered where you would be if it had not been for the Lord. I often do. Then other times, when aware of my sin nature, the idea of God’s grace made known to me causes me to want to weep, and sometimes I do. If you are a believer in Jesus, surely you know and experience the grace of God daily!

He cares so deeply for His children, and His love is boundless and inexhaustible, unfathomable.

With all the uncertainty in this world, the lack of peace has caused many who don’t know Jesus to at least wonder how to make sense of it all. Surely, observing the events would shake one’s soul and cause questions to swirl. I’m wondering if you are in that state now, would you be looking for peace?

The One that lives inside me is the only One that’s been able to give my life

peace,

purpose,

and a plan.

He is my stability, my Rock, and my Home. This all-encompassing God also has a place reserved for me in Heaven. I know this for certain, and it’s not because of anything I’ve done. It’s actually because of everything He did for me when He died on the cross. Then when I made the choice to receive His gift of salvation, certainty and assurance became my eternal hope.

 I don’t deserve this one bit.

It certainly isn’t because I’m a good person or because of any good works I’ve done.

I am not a good person, nor do I have to do good works to earn this salvation.
Any good coming from me is Jesus inside me, and the good works are done only because I love Him.
Earning my salvation is not needed.
My faith is in the person of Jesus, not a religion. This keeps me from becoming callous to the world and its troubles.

In fact, my heart is more tender to this world and prayer is my response.

Certainly, I’ve decided to follow Jesus which means my life is directed to being part of the solution to the worlds ills. But my hope and peace are not found in this world. So how does one find this peace?

These verses explain how to find peace with God.

John 3:16&17- “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

John 14:6- Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 3:23-for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 – I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 9 It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it.

Acts 2:21 – And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

I Corinthians 3:16 – Do you not know that you are God’s temple and the Spirit of God dwells in you?

If you believe what you’ve just read, then you can ask Jesus to live in your heart and He will. It is the best decision you will ever make. You can pray something like this and Jesus will hear you and by His Spirit come live in your heart.

Dear God, I know through your son Jesus, I can have forgiveness of my sin. I know I need you. I believe Jesus is God’s son. I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sin. I believe God raised Jesus from the dead. Because He lives, I can live too. I receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior now. Please forgive my sin, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to follow you faithfully all the days of my life. Amen.

Please leave a comment below to tell your story of when you became a follower of Jesus. Or, leave a comment if you just began that journey.

If you did decide to follow Jesus, begin reading the Bible. Ask God’s Holy Spirit to give you understanding and begin to obey what you read. Contact another Christian and share your decision. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to a church family who believes in the Bible as God’s Holy Word, who worships the triune God in all its purpose, and who values the growth of Christian character found in the person of Christ.

©Valerie Rumfelt

It would be my joy to have you as a reader. Put your email in the box below, and press subscribe to receive my post each time I publish. Welcome.

The Security of the Believer

I remember pedaling down our street and my daddy holding on to my bike seat. The training wheels had come off, and here we were, working together to take it to the next level. Now, I can’t tell you if I was hollering, “Daddy, let go!” or, “Daddy, don’t let go!” I just know my daddy was right there running and exerting all the encouragement he had to release me into the world of childhood biking. I worked with him while wondering if the bike would continue on wheels or if I and the bike would end up sprawled on the asphalt.

Later I would make more memories of me careening down hills without holding the handlebars embracing my play life on wheels. My daddy knew those days would come, but I didn’t. Perhaps he thought, ” I don’t want to let go of my sweet girl.” Who knows? But to this day, it is a vivid memory of growth and faith, and dependence on my dad.

Now while that’s a sweet memory of my dad holding on to me, his power was limited. He couldn’t hold me forever. He had to release me, and I had to have faith that I was going to stay up on those wheels. My faith was in my dad and my ability, both limited.

But when you become a child of God, that means you placed your faith in God. God. Omnipotent. Omnipresent. Omniscient. God.

He is not going to let you go, not one time. As a fact, He can’t. It is not in His nature to be faithless. (2 Timothy 2:13) . When you ask Jesus to save you, He saves you and keeps you. It is His responsibility to hold you forever. He will not let you go. You can rest in His powerful work in your life at the point of salvation. The triune God, the Maker of heaven and earth, is faithful and will never let you out of His hand(John 10:27-29). You can know He lives inside you forever if you’ve asked Him to.

It is not necessary that you continue to ask Him to. He is God, and He is able to keep you(Jude 24). Anything you think you might contribute to your salvation, you don’t. You received Him by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and there’s no work you can do to keep Him. He is keeping you. He did the work on the cross, and if you are His child because you have decided to be, then He is keeping you now.

If in a season of doubt, take some time and write the verses listed below and repeat them, memorize them, and pray them back to God with confidence and thanksgiving. Peace and confidence will be restored in the person of Christ, the One who saved you.

One side issue: If you are in a season of disobedience, this can cause you to doubt your salvation. As you grow in your faith, your behavior won’t trigger you to question your salvation. You will learn to trust Him. You will remember your salvation does not depend on you. You will discover your faith is in the person of Christ, not your changing feelings. But you should confess your sin to Him if you feel distant. It is always we who move away from God, not Him from us. He wants to have full, restored fellowship with you, and sin gets in the way. Confess your sin immediately, and walk in obedience again(I John 1:9).

Be sure you have time with God every day, preferably in the morning. This gives you the time to confess your sin, reflect on who He is, get solutions to your problems, build the faith you need to let God do His work in your life, and give you the strength to obey Him.

So whether you are a new Christian or one in a season of doubt, or you’ve been a Christian for decades, here is a list of verses you can put your hope in, memorize, write down, pass on or hand them out to your Sunday school class, small group, or someone you are working with.

  • I John 5:11-13 – And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
  • John 1:12 – Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God –
  • John 10:27-29 – Jesus answered, ” My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
  • Jude 24 – To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without finding fault and with great joy.”
  • Romans 8:38&39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*If your thoughts are not doubts but conviction and an invitation by the Holy Spirit to accept Jesus by faith, then read the link below for more information.*

Let me know your thoughts.

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Walk in the Rain

Walk in the rain that turned to storm

Some avoided this morning’s norm

No one out; the metropolis quiet

because of pounding rain, but we desire it.
Why out in the rain and not at home?

Did we not get the memo, stay out of the storm?

We knew the report, but we wanted to worship

So off in the rain we went to the church house.
Why walk in the rain when you could drive?

We couldn’t drive in our situation at this time.

Maybe a taxi, but it didn’t come to mind, 

so off in the rain our hearts sublime.
The destination worth it, the puddles unavoidable

Around each one we tried but wet was our stride

The pastor made comment of the weather amid,

“…also, a wonderful, dry room to worship in.”
How grateful he was and so were we

If work had called, we’d on time be.

So why miss assembly and worship a tree

Yes, a storm is on us, but we are free.
With lungs to breathe air, and eyes to see,

ears to hear tapping of wet moisture on me

It seemed such joy to be able to worship

A little rain, or a lot was not to disturb us.
Never should keep us from gathering or deter

So go to church, and be on time as it were.

A privilege that not all in the world can embrace

Be a Jesus freak, run and stay in the race.
The worshiping assembly is a joy of the Kingdom.

Make it a habit but not an agenda.

Don’t be one of those with no good reason

Go to church, worship Jesus, and live life in season.

©Valerie Rumfelt

2022

24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

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Wrap your Mind Around Worry

Has worry ever grabbed you, and suddenly you feel suffocated by a situation beyond your control? Worry is a condition many live in regularly. We all know there are some rather large situations in life that can escalate our concern to full-blown worry.

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If you are a Christian, I can tell you Jesus doesn’t want His children to make a practice of worrying. Worry is a sin, and any effort we put forth to get it under control is time well spent. Some of those efforts are talked about in other blogs on this site, but spending time in Scripture or prayer is some of my go-to strategies.

The immediate reward of choosing to slow down and engage with God’s Word or talk to Jesus is undeniably beneficial. Ultimately, worry harms our mind and body, which could be why God doesn’t want His children consumed by it. Our heavenly Father knows His children, and He knows when we worry, our hearts and minds are not on Him. It’s as if we agree with our flesh and/or the devil about situations instead of trusting Jesus and gaining strength through the Holy Spirit to wait on His outcome.

All through the Bible, solutions are given to help us give our worries to Him, to turn our worries into prayers, and cast our burden on Him.  Maybe this is where you find yourself now.


If you are in this consuming situation now, take a healthy break, and be intentional. Sit down and read these scriptures. The mind will move from worry to the Word if you read out loud. Do it repeatedly if needed, and your mind will engage with Scripture.

Matthew 6:25-34

Psalm 19 (the whole chapter)

Then take a few minutes and write these scriptures.
Then pray the scripture back to God.

This is a winning way to follow Jesus. If you are a Christian, then you will feel God’s peace inside. You will be more relaxed. Then you will know God is in control of the situation. Then you can praise Him for the beautiful work He did in you over the last few minutes, and you can thank Him for what He will do in your situation.

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We cast behind fear, sin, and death;

With Thee we seek the things above;

Our inmost souls Thy spirit breathe,

Of power, of calmness, and of love.

Hymns of the Spirit

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Easy Recipe

The theme of my website is “Winning Ways to Follow Jesus,” and taking care of our bodies is a winning way to follow Jesus. So in this article, I have a healthy, easy recipe to help you out this weekend and spur you on toward love and good deeds(Hebrews 10:24). But since we’re on the topic of taking care of our bodies, let’s look a minute at verses from scripture that go along with this idea. These are not all verses that apply to this topic.

I Corinthians 6:19-20 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God with your body.

Every follower of Jesus has the Holy Spirit. He comes to live in us at the moment of salvation. We belong to God. He is our master from that point, so our bodies are to glorify Him.

Ephesians 5:29 – For no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church…

We are not to hate our body. Jesus had a real flesh and blood body, which was given to pay the price for my sin and yours. Our body is His temple. How can we hate our body? We can make daily choices to lovingly care for it and protect it.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God has work for each of His children to do until the day we die or until Jesus comes again. When we fail to care for our body, His workmanship((Genesis 2:7), then we will feel bad. Then we don’t have the energy or desire to do the works God has for us to do. We will miss out on what He had planned and lose our purpose.

Have fun researching this topic for yourself. And enjoy this tasty recipe!

Roasted Vegetables:

Wash 2 boxes of cherry tomatoes and dry

Open 1 frozen bag of vegetables(keep frozen)

Combine tomatoes and vegetables in a bowl

Drizzle olive oil on the tomatoes and vegetables

Add your own spices. Last night I used garlic powder and a little salt, and generous pepper

Stir until all is covered with oil and spices

Spray oil on a foil-lined pan and arrange tomatoes and vegetables on pan

Bake on 400 until tomatoes pop and vegetables are browning

1st picture – tomatoes and frozen vegetables:

2nd picture – roasted tomatoes and frozen vegetables

Serving suggestions:

Serve as a side dish

Serve over pasta and mozzarella

Serve over rice

© Valerie Rumfelt

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The Practice of Prayer

If you are a Christ follower, then you know that spending time with the Father through Bible reading and prayer is not a legalistic exercise, but you cherish this practice; it is life to you.

As carelessly as some followers approach reading His Word, there can often be little attention given to prayer unless in a crisis. A Christ-follower can engage with God through the power of His Holy Spirit in prayer. If you only go to God when something immediate is wrong in your life, then you are no better than the characters on a soap opera. I used to watch them, and characters prayed only in a crisis to a god they didn’t know. So, how do we keep from being or becoming people who only pray in crisis?

  1. Expect results. Prayer is a discipline. I know that sounds like “eat your vegetables,” but to get out of “crisis mode only” with prayer, you will need to practice. Now that is not to say you can’t pray at other times. You can pray all day long, anytime. But praying as a choice is necessary to learn how to pray effectively.
  2. Expect to hear from God. We all fear that God might speak to us in our prayer, and we aren’t sure we want to hear what He has to say. But once you pray intentionally, you become fearless. Your faith strengthens and you are willing to accept any instruction, comfort, or guidance He gives. Even if something is hard to hear, you can pray about it.
  3. Expect better relationships. Prayer keeps you honest before God. It stands to reason that if you are honest before God, your relationships will get more honest, and more peace will be produced in your life. Every relationship problem may not be solved, but you will have more peace.
  4. Expect to use the Bible in your prayer time. Use the scripture you read earlier in devotions. Or find a passage particular to your situation. Praying scripture is a submissive choice to agree with God that His Word is true and true for you.
  5. Expect answers to your prayers. God honors those who honor Him and He is waiting to hear from you. The more you pray, the more answers you will get. He will answer prayers that are for your good and His glory which is directly connected to His will for your life.

None of this means that you’ll be spared suffering. God is not a genie. But a fervent prayer life will sustain you in suffering. True followers of Christ will suffer in this life. That is theologically based right out of God’s Holy Word, but your prayer life will give you strength and wisdom for each trial.

Do you need to get on your knees?

I choose to get on my knees because something supernatural happens there. It’s a humble posture; once again, I have no trouble thanking God for who He is. Praise comes out of my mouth easily. I confess my sins. Isn’t this what you’d expect to do in prayer? It goes from being a stiff “have to” step in my quiet time to a desire to know Him and enjoy His presence.

I hope these tips will encourage you to enter into God’s presence with expectation and gladness.

“True prayer is a way of life, not just for use in cases of emergency. Make it a habit, and when the need arises you will be in practice.”

Billy Graham

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Lamp to My Feet ~ Light to My Path

Some people love adventure, and roaming the earth to have an adventure is done with ease. Home is where my heart is. I love everything about home. I have a Pinterest board with that title.

My family moved a lot when I was a child. I have always had trouble leaving the familiar. I need a plan. Anxiety began to reside in me at a young age. Every move was another traumatic, lonely excursion. It never occurred to me that I could do something about it, and over time, like stubborn weeds grip hard soil, it became part of me. I tried hard not to let it stop me, but I’m sure opportunities were missed.

In the late 90s, my husband and I took two trips to Ukraine, and while those trips showed us spiritual lostness on a world scale, I battled anxiety. The first one we went as team members.

Once we returned to our comfortable life, pride and amazement swelled in me. That trip was my first time flying too! Mission accomplished; good job. A big check for such a feat.

Barely enjoying normal life again, to our surprise, we received a message requesting my husband be the team leader of another trip to Ukraine, to take place only six months later. I could not believe it. But I knew God was doing this. Me resting on my laurels was not in His plan.

Thankfully, the Lord used a completely different situation in the early 21st century to call me to pay attention to my issue with anxiety. I won’t explain that, but the result was I obeyed. Through the power of His Holy Spirit, God guided me to some practices that put me in scripture consistently, daily. These practices were in addition to a morning quiet time I’d had for decades. The result was His peace and a transformed mind.

Anxiety starts in the mind. Much of what was begun then remains in my spiritual practices today. 

In 2019, my husband sensed we would take a new direction different from anything we’d done before. I could not believe it. I knew this would mean we wouldn’t visit a foreign and unfamiliar country, but we would live in a foreign and unfamiliar country.

For years, whenever I’d read Psalm 139, my eyes would gaze on vs. 9, which says, “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Thoughts would swirl as I wondered if Psalm 139:9 would ever be true for me.

Today as I live in a foreign country writing this, I am aware I am very far from the familiar, it is on the far side of the sea, and I’m living in the verse to the praise of His Name.

Yes, anxiety visits still, but God’s Word has long-term effects, and I benefit greatly from the years of investment. You can too.

“Let God’s promises shine on your problems.” Corrie Ten Boom

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Focus on Fruit – a poem

Every person in Christ has a treasure inside. It comes by way of fruit. The fruit within shows the world our Friend and the quiet display of His love.

 It is said we become like the ones nearest us so the fruit should be picked every day.

Evidenced through the trials we bear; down here there’s suffering and testing that tear. But it’s here when fruit bursts forth and grows strong, for endurance is needed and can be so long.

For how else will love grow but when put with a foe. Someone who is tiresome or one who is gruff. As God’s Word our guide and this fruit down inside commands love burst forth, alive!

Joy unending, flowing under it all, is the oil that yields produce, the soothing gladness of soul.

But joy brings peace and peace is still because peace is the space where the soul can heal.

But peace walks with patience and patience is lovely. What a relief when we do not act ugly.

Kindness can flow from a heart that is patient because kindness is known by a desire to be gracious.

Next on the vine, goodness joins kind because goodness describes God’s heart. God, if anything is always good, and goodness beside kindness is best understood.

To be a friend, to walk through a trial, to love when it’s hard is where faithfulness is found.

It may be the root of all the fruit, for faithfulness is lost now and needs to be found.

Gentleness, how lacking in this cruel world, is stolen, replaced by asserting ourselves. Passivity its counterfeit, but so far from right; Gentleness is strong and a soothing, warm light. To comfort, to calm, and quiet a fear. Gentleness works and draws us near.

But self-control beats a loud drum indeed. Dominance it needs in order to lead. The flesh needs a pause, self-control to rule, it’s payback is great, and it makes no fools.

So what is this fruit that comes from above? Is it useful and profitable and marked by love? Yes, winsome it is to a weary world and brings humility in midst of trial.  So how can fruit be good to the taste? It is in spending time not in want or in waste. And linger in quiet, the Spirit transform. For an increase of His company is how to reform. The flesh or the Spirit, this forever our choice, until He returns and then we’ll rejoice!

By Valerie Rumfelt

Based on Galation 5:22-23

5/2022

©Valerie Rumfelt

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