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Be Still and Know in 2018

Tis a season for everything under heaven,

and Advent and Christmas are lovely,

but the decorations are looking a little sad,

the sweets have made me a bit sluggish,

the money spent a little too freely,

and all the festivities may have crowded out time with Him.

So it is time to turn.

January is the season of new beginnings,

the season of quiet,

where we can renew (or establish) the habit

of drawing near to the One who makes all things new.

David Lano photograph of Dee’s home on Dec 27, 2017

 

They say it takes 21 days to establish a habit.

Let’s meet together, daily, and see how God indeed, will renew us.

If you are new, just click on the “blog” at the top, and then on the

“Getting Started” door and follow the easy directions.

We have a wonderful group of women here who will enrich you.

And we so heartily welcome fresh faces.

There is room at the table for you!

 

So WELCOME!

We have been doing a study on “The Jesus Who Surprises,”

finding Him in the Old Testament and in every corner of our lives.

For the next six weeks we will find Him in the psalms.

The psalms not only help us spend time with Him,

but also help us renew our prayer life.

And how exciting it will be to discover Jesus or His gospel in these psalms.

We have a God who is as near as our very breath, but because He is Spirit, we may forget He is here with us. But the psalmist says, “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people.”(Psalm 125:2) I often thought of Psalm 125:2 when we lived in Seattle, where mountains practically surround the city. The Olympic mountains line the Puget Sound, and Mount Rainier, in all her glory, looms over the city from the south. Most of the time, however, you can’t see any of them! Whenever my parents visited my dad teased me that there were no mountains, that it was just a grand publicity stunt to lure tourists, for this is how the Seattle skyline often looks, and did every time my parents visited!

But oh, hidden behind those clouds was beauty. Sometimes the sky would be the bluest blue, and you’d look out, and there she was — a mountain so big she looked unreal — taking your breath away. She was there all the time, just hidden from sight.

Mount Rainier

God is like that. He is the God who surprises. Those who were with us during our study of The Song of Songs learned He is like a deer who hides, but then leaps out and takes our breath away. I caught this picture of a stag leaping onto my snowy deck. Indeed, he took my breath away.

 

This week we will get our bearings, thought it will be a review for old-timers. Many who have been with us for a while have become wonderful encouragers and mentors to those who are new. Come every day, to get off on the right foot for 2018. If you miss a day, don’t quit, just get right back on. The Christian walk is not a sprint, but a long obedience in the same direction. But, as we will see from Hebrews, there is value in conscientiously endeavoring to establish a habit — so let’s make a goal of getting 21 days straight without a missI  I will post a new study each Sunday. We will do this study until Lent begins in mid February. Come and stay with us for six weeks and then evaluate if you want to join us for Lent. We’ve become family here, and there is always room for another at the table!

A few hints for beginners: Give us your first name, and then another name, but not your last, to protect your identity such as  Laura Dancer and Sue Seeker have done. I suggest you do not check the box to get replies, as too many e-mails will fill your box. There are directions so you can show us a picture of yourself, which helps us to know you. We are so glad to have you! We have found it is possible to experience God in a place like this!

Sunday, New Year’s Eve

1. What stood out to you from the above?

2. To help us get to know you, what was one way you sensed the presence of God this last Advent or Christmas and why?

3. Write a prayer right here, asking God to help you get off on the right foot in 2018.  We can read it and pray it for you as well.

4. If you have been here before, how can you encourage your new sisters to not just start, but stay the course?

 

Monday, New Year’s Day, 2018

I love the Christmas season, but despite my best intentions, usually have too many sweets, especially at the end, and I did it again. I am taking the warning of Hebrews seriously

 

5. What does Hebrews 12:12-13 tells us to do? Is there an area where you are in danger of becoming “lame” if you continue to walk this path? What is it and how might you establish a better path in the next several weeks?

 

 

6. Read Luke 24:1-27 (Review for many — but the basis of this study.)

A. How did Jesus surprise the two on the road to Emmaus?

B. Why do you think He did not allow them to recognize Him at first?

C. What did He show them in their Scriptures (the Old Testament) according to verses 26-27?

The Greek phrase “zeugma,” translated “all” means from front to back. In other words, both Christ and His gospel can be found in every Old Testament books.

D. If you were with us in the fall, share one place you discovered Jesus “in the books of Moses.” Why did this stand out to you?

Tuesday, Jan 2

7, Read Luke 24:28-53 

    A. How did the two describe their time with Jesus in verses 32?

    B. Have you had a time when you felt like that? If so, share.

C. Imagine you were in the room with the eleven when Jesus appeared. Describe what you would have seen. How do you think you would have felt?

D.  What three sections of the Old Testament are mentioned in verse 44?

I (Dee) am writing a book tentatively titled “The Jesus Who Surprises.” Though I wish I could cover every OT book, for Jesus and His Gospel are hidden in every one, since I am writing just one book, I must limit myself to Genesis (representing books of Moses), the psalms (representing the poets) and one or two of the prophets (representing the prophets).

Wednesday: Jan 3

8. Read Psalm 1 and find everything you can about the man who is blessed.

9. How can you be like that man in 2018?

10. How can you see Jesus hidden in Psalm 1? 

 

Thursday-Friday: Jan 4 and 5.

11. Listen to Tim Keller’s Sermon on Psalm 1 and share your notes and comments. You can divide this into two days — the message is 40 minutes. If you have heard it before, it is definitely worth listening to again!

 

12. How is living like the man in Psalm 1 related to establishing a new habit of eating right, spending right, loving right?

 

 

Saturday:

13. What is your take-a-way and why?

 

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227 comments

  1. Hi Dee,

    I’ve been here many times before, but rarely comment. ( Not Renee) I LOVE your Bible studies and tell every lady I know about them.  I am one that needs encouragement to stay the race.  I want to commit to the next 6 weeks in the Psalms. This blog has been such a boost to me in the past.  The ladies here are truly a family, I love reading the comments.  I hope to contribute more to the discussion and come and sit at the table with all of you before the Lord.

  2. 5. What does Hebrews 12:12-13 tells us to do? Is there an area where you are in danger of becoming “lame” if you continue to walk this path? What is it and how might you establish a better path in the next several weeks?

    I noticed that the Hebrews passage is a quote from Isaiah 35:3. And when I read it I also the next verse as well. Isaiah 35:4 says “Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! … He will come and save you.” This is my lameness. I am fearful! I stew over bad news – and there is lots of that everywhere. It is hard to praise, to trust, to remember that God will save in the end. But I know this is what I need – praise, worship.

    My resolution this new year (and I always hesitate to make resolutions) are to focus on God and worship Him; that his praise will be continually in my mouth. With that in mind, I am trying to read the Bible through this year – using the Reading Guide in the back of my ESV Study Bible. (I begin with some trepidation because I often get bogged down and have a big aversion to starting something I can’t finish. Yes, I am a perfectionist.) I am also reading Tim Keller’s “God Wisdom for Navigating Life: a year of daily devotions in the book of Proverbs”. … Day 1 – check.

    Speaking of focusing on praise, I receive daily emails from Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Today’s “Exult and Rejoice” is really good. Here is an excerpt.

    “We will exult and rejoice in you.” Song of Songs 1:4

    “We will be glad and rejoice in You. We will not open the gates of the year to the sorrowful notes of the organ, but to the sweet strains of the harp of joy and the high-sounding cymbals of gladness. “O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”1

    We, the called and faithful and chosen, will drive away our griefs and set up our banners of confidence in the name of God. Let others lament over their troubles; we with joy will magnify the Lord. Eternal Spirit, our effectual Comforter, we who are the temples in which You dwell will never cease from adoring and blessing the name of Jesus.

    Jesus must have the crown of our heart’s delight; we will not dishonor our Bridegroom by mourning in His presence. We are ordained to be the minstrels of the skies; let us rehearse our everlasting anthem before we sing it in the halls of the New Jerusalem. We will exult and rejoice: two words with one sense, double joy, blessedness upon blessedness.”

    Sorry to be so wordy. Hope Spurgeon’s words encourage your heart.

  3. I have become very “lame” in the area of bible study. I dabble in it, but lately I’ve been allowing other pointless and mundane things to take up my time.

    6. Read Luke 24:1-27 (Review for many — but the basis of this study.)
    A. How did Jesus surprise the two on the road to Emmaus? He showed up and started walking with them.

    B. Why do you think He did not allow them to recognize Him at first? They may have became so overwhelmed that they wouldn’t be able to take in what he was saying to them.

    C. What did He show them in their Scriptures (the Old Testament) according to verses 26-27? He showed them the things concerning Himself in all of the scriptures.

     
     

  4. In the fall study I learned that Jesus was “the greater Joseph”. I love the story of Joseph but never saw him as a picture of  Jesus. The way he received & forgave his brothers, & provided a way for his family to thrive in the midst of famine. He was so yielded to the Lord’s will in the face of suffering & betrayal. Such a story of redemption!

  5. Luke 24:32 How did they describe their time with Jesus?

    Were not our hearts burning within us?

    This description is not one that I have ever made, yet it seems so familiar to me.

    I have felt the presence of Jesus in my times of acute need. He comes to me and I feel

    the peace of his presence.

    I would love to imagine being in the room with him and responding to his words:

    Look at my hands and feet. touch me and see! Yes, I know my Savior lives!

    Yet I love the realness of that time when he asked them if they had anything to eat- then ate the bread and fish in their midst.

    They were first startled and frightened; then amazed and joyful!

    The three sections of the Old Testament mentioned are the law with Moses in Exodus,

    the prophets, Isaiah and others and the Psalms of David.

  6. 7, Read Luke 24:28-53 
        A. How did the two describe their time with Jesus in verses 32? 
     

    They realized how they felt inside; a burning as they spoke about the scriptures with Him.

     
        B. Have you had a time when you felt like that? If so, share. 
     

    Yes! When I was choreographing the John 1:1-14 piece which you were having us memorize a few years ago, I was reading Proverbs 8:22-31 and was struck at the similarity of the verses. I was captivated and ended up choreographing probably the best thing I ever have done. My dance partner and I used modern and classical moves, she composing the Old using the modern moves and I composing the new with classical ballet moves. We intertwined the verses and had two readers and about 10 dancers. It was amazing! I think I posted it on the FB page although we didn’t have a very good recording.

     
    C. Imagine you were in the room with the eleven when Jesus appeared. Describe what you would have seen. How do you think you would have felt? 
     

    I thought about this as I read…I don’t think Jesus looked like a ghost. I think He was more life like. Knowing what I did about His death, I would have been afraid. I think the others would have been fearful as well; kind of like seeing those angels in each of the birthing stories. It would have been weird to see Him eat a piece of fish in this state also.

     
    D.  What three sections of the Old Testament are mentioned in verse 44?
     

    He mentions the laws of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms.

  7. 7. Read Luke 24:28-53

     

    A. How did the two describe their time with Jesus in verse 32?

     

    Even before they knew it was Jesus, while He was talking with them they felt their hearts burning within them.

     

    B. Have you had a time when you felt like that? If so, share.

     

    There are times when I’ve been reading the Bible and a verse or passage really speaks to me, or I have been listening to a sermon on the radio or podcast and the message resonates with me and I feel stirred up inside, and I feel encouraged in my faith and I am saying “Yes, I do believe this!” It’s also a feeling like there’s something just swelling inside of you….you understand, you “get it” and you resonate with the truth of it.

     

    C. Imagine you were in the room with the eleven when Jesus appeared. Describe what you would have seen. How do you think you would have felt?

     

    The Eleven were talking about Jesus, saying that it IS true….Jesus has risen. He appeared to Simon! I turned my head and there He was….how did He get in here? He just appeared out of nowhere! It looks like Him, but….is it a ghost? I’m moving closer to the others for safety; I feel scared. But He was never scary before…. He’s talking to us, He says we can touch Him and feel Him, that He’s real flesh and bones, like us. I think I’ll let someone else go first….

     

    D. What three sections of the Old Testament are mentioned in verse 44?

     

    The Law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms. (Which portion is the Law of Moses exactly? Is this referring to Exodus and the Ten Commandments?)

  8. 7.B.  Has it happened to me that Scripture would burn in me?  Yes, just exactly as Susan describes it. It is something I am always looking for.

    C.  Startled is a good word for what I would have felt if I knew Jesus had died and now suddenly is there, and didn’t come in by way of the locked door.

    D. Moses, meaning the first five books of the Bible, Psalms and the prophets. I’ve heard it said that these are the books that some of the religious elite would accept, but not the other books.

  9. Looking forward to joining this bible study.

  10. 5. What does Hebrews 12:12-13 tells us to do? Is there an area where you are in danger of becoming “lame” if you continue to walk this path? What is it and how might you establish a better path in the next several weeks?
     
    Interestingly I have been struggling for about 2 months with a sore leg. Before Thanksgiving I strained the muscle behind my knee and with the holidays and extra house guests I just haven’t been able to get it healed up. I had decided I should probably go and get some physical therapy done on it this week. These verses certainly had meaning for me in a physical sense. 
    Spiritually I know how important it is to stay in the Word on a daily basis so as not to become “lame”.  I don’t want to allow a hard heart to develop.  

    6. Read Luke 24:1-27 (Review for many — but the basis of this study.)
    A. How did Jesus surprise the two on the road to Emmaus?

    When they shared their sad news of what had happened to Jesus and their hopes of what He would do He began to share and open up from Scripture the truths and prophecies about himself.  He began to redirect their thinking. 

    B. Why do you think He did not allow them to recognize Him at first? 

    It would seem it was important for them to be taught and instructed from the scripture and initially not be distracted by the sensational thing that had happened. An understanding of Who Jesus is and what He came to earth to do is important and basic to the Christian life. 

    C. What did He show them in their Scriptures (the Old Testament) according to verses 26-27?

    That the Christ would have to suffer before entering into His glory. 

    D. If you were with us in the fall, share one place you discovered Jesus “in the books of Moses.” Why did this stand out to you?

    The story of Abraham taking his son Issac up on the mountain to sacrifice him is an incredibly poignant account in light of what he meant to him.  The parallel to God giving his only Son Jesus and sacrificing Him to die on the cross stands out to me. 
     

  11.  If I, Imagine I were in the room with the eleven when Jesus appeared.Describe what you would have seen. How do you think you would have felt? I think I would have been scared but excited at the same time that Jesus is alive, but confused by how others would be acting at first. when it really hit me I would be Dancing and Praising Him and saying what do we need to do next.

  12. 7, Read Luke 24:28-53 
        A. How did the two describe their time with Jesus in verses 32?

    Their hearts burned within them as He opened the Scripture and taught them. 

        B. Have you had a time when you felt like that? If so, share.

    Hearing good teaching from the Bible stirs my heart and gives me the feeling of being drawn in and wanting more. 

    C. Imagine you were in the room with the eleven when Jesus appeared. Describe what you would have seen. How do you think you would have felt?

    They were together in a locked room talking about the sightings of Jesus that had happened so far and suddenly Jesus appears and says “Peace to you!” 
    I want to think I would have put it all together and delighted in the reality of what was happening but Jesus said to them “…why do doubts arise in your hearts?” I’m afraid I would have been struggling with doubts as well. Having a hard time believing He really had come back in the flesh. 

    D.  What three sections of the Old Testament are mentioned in verse 44?

     
    The Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. It verifies how the whole Bible really is all about Jesus. 

  13. Alisa, I like your response! Excited & full of faith!

    Their hearts were burning within them as they heard Jesus explaining the Scriptures. Have I ever felt this? Like Susan, I have when I’ve been reading the Bible & something grabs me. The Spirit takes the Truth & drives it deep in a personal way. I love that!! Last time I remember that really happening (a few months ago), was when I was reading Luke 13:10-17 where Jesus healed the woman who had been “bent over for 18 yrs”. He said “you are set free” & He laid His hands on her & she “stood up straight & praised God”! I felt powerfully that Jesus was saying the same to me & releasing me from fears that had crippled me & bent me over for yrs! Yes, my heart was burning within me & greatly moved  🙂

    If I was in the room with the 11 when Jesus appeared, I would have been amazed & excited & full of wonder, questions & comfort that He was alive & with us again! They were already talking about how they had seen Him. I would have thought it was a miracle & I think my faith would have been rising, knowing that Jesus was all He had said He was, & it wasn’t over ! He was God & all things are possible.  🙂

  14. 6. Read Luke 24:1-27 (Review for many — but the basis of this study.)
    A. How did Jesus surprise the two on the road to Emmaus?
    By coming alongside them
    B. Why do you think He did not allow them to recognize Him at first? He wants them to process what He had to say about Himself first? Also, they might have been terrified of Him if He just revealed Himself right away?
    C. What did He show them in their Scriptures (the Old Testament) according to verses 26-27?
    That He was there from the very beginning
    D. If you were with us in the fall, share one place you discovered Jesus “in the books of Moses.” Why did this stand out to you?
     
    Then- Jesus in Joseph-forgiving, loving and redeeming of his brothers who did him such injustice.
    Now-Jesus being our high priest (foreshadowed in Aaron)-this stood out to me at this very moment as I wrestle with my fears regarding our daughter’s mental state. She is very fragile and down in the pits and so far away from us. Knowing that Jesus is interceding for us right now gives hope to this grieving Mom.

  15. Tuesday, Jan 2
    7, Read Luke 24:28-53 
    A.  How did the two describe their time with Jesus in verses 32?
    Their hearts were burning
    B.  Have you had a time when you felt like that? If so, share.
    During times of grief-my father’s and sister’s death, my in-laws’
    During times of deep spiritual conversations with fellow Christians
    Reading the Psalms and books like Union with Christ, The God of all Comfort, No one Like Him, etc
    C.  Imagine you were in the room with the eleven when Jesus appeared. Describe what you would have seen. How do you think you would have felt?
    Everyone with their mouths open and perhaps some trembling with fear. I would have been shocked, elated, confused, and asking “could this really be true, Lord? Is it really you?” I will be Thomas-like. Please bear with me with a story I would like to share:
    I have a friend who was dying because of heart failure. His family was called to his bedside, he has started to mottle (turn blue) on his legs and we were praying for dying grace. Then living grace upon grace came-a young man was in an accident and was brain dead-they were compatible in everything required- parents wanted to donate his organs etc. In short, my friend Chuck got this young man’s heart. When he called me the evening after his surgery, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe I was talking to who I thought was a dying man! He came a few weeks later to talk to my class, and when I saw him, I had to touch him to believe it was really Chuck. I cried buckets. Fast forward to 6 years—called Chuck again not knowing how he was doing. He is still with us and of all miracles, he and his ex-wife(they got divorced the year he was dying but remained in good terms) got remarried! Oh, wow-that was just tops! I cried. again. This time more buckets. And to see this couple’s gratitude to and faith in God. Heartwarming, indeed.
    D.  What three sections of the Old Testament are mentioned in verse 44?
     
    E.        The law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms

    1. Ernema, thank you for sharing the story of your friend… incredible!  When I hear things like that, I am always curious to know God’s larger plan, what might He have in store for this life…so exciting to think about.

      1. oh Nanci–SO good to see you again! I’ve really missed you here.

    2. Bing…what an amazing story about your friend! Such a miracle!!  🙂

    3. Ernema,

      Thank you for sharing this incredibly beautiful story of your friend.

    4. The story of your friend is just so special-Thanks for sharing it! Just can’t imagine seeing the miracles before you…

  16. 7, Read Luke 24:28-53 
        A. How did the two describe their time with Jesus in verses 32?
    Their hearts were burning as Jesus talked with them and read the Scriptures to them.
        B. Have you had a time when you felt like that? If so, share.
    I can’t explain it that well in words but it happens when I am in the word or when one of our pastors are teaching and I see Jesus in the passage and He is stirring my heart. It is like a flame is there inside and His spirit fans it.

     
    C. Imagine you were in the room with the eleven when Jesus appeared.Describe what you would have seen. How do you think you would have felt?
    So I am there and here come these two bursting in to tell us what happened. That He appeared to them and is alive. Then all of a sudden Jesus appears to us and I haven’t even processed or fully believed what they are saying to me yet. I probably would have felt like they did-frightened, troubled and doubtful.  They didn’t fully understand as I am sure I wouldn’t have for only He could give them understanding-v.45.

    Just meditating on how He surprised them..He didn’t come when they were ready-for they hadn’t had time to process what they were hearing and it is clear they didn’t fully understand his death and resurrection. He surprised them as they were hearing perhaps making their hearts burn too, and then He opened their minds so they could see the Gospel in the passages that prophesied about him.
    D.  What three sections of the Old Testament are mentioned in verse 44?
    The Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. Dee’s response to Susan above was helpful to me in understanding that Jesus referred to all of the Old Testament.

     

  17. 5. What does Hebrews 12:12-13 tell us to do?  Is there an area where you are in danger of becoming “lame” if you continue to walk this path? What is it and how might you establish a better path in the next several weeks?

    Hebrews 12:12-13 tells us to prepare, to get our self in proper strength and conditioning to be at a level that we may be effective and successful in our calling/assignment/”race.”  An area where I am in danger of becoming “lame”?…often I can get “swept up” in the moment whether that be pessimism or discouragement (low morale),  indulging in sweets or other special treats, or getting excited and committing to something, all without really thinking through the ramifications to time, energy, and/or resources.  My plan, with God’s help and guidance, is to become more intentional and discerning, limiting my impulsiveness, and allowing follow-through to occur naturally as a consequence of intentional decision-making.

    6.A. How did Jesus surprise the two on the road to Emmaus?

    Jesus showed the two that what occurred to Jesus was all part of a plan that went back to the beginning, a plan that was noted throughout OT texts.  Jesus shifted their paradigm in showing them that His suffering and death was God’s plan and allowed by the sovereign God as part of His redemption plan.

    6.B. Why do you think He did not allow them to recognize Him at first?

    I think that Jesus wanted them engaged in understanding and recognizing God’s redemptive plan, showing how it was outlined throughout the OT.  Had Jesus allowed them to recognize Him immediately, their focus would have been only on Jesus being with them, in their physical presence–Jesus directed their focus on understanding God’s sovereignty and plan for redeeming humanity.

    6.C. What did He show them in their Scriptures (the OT) according to v. 26-27?

    Jesus showed them that the OT text spoke of Him, the OT clearly predicted what would occur to the Messiah, i.e., what Jesus was to suffer.  Jesus provided them with a fresh understanding that penetrated their hearts.

    7.A. How did the two describe their time with Jesus in v. 32?

    “the penny dropped” (their hearts burned)…they saw the OT texts in a new light, their eyes and hearts were opened to fresh and greater understanding.

    7.B. Have you had a time when you felt like that?

    I can think of a number of times when I thought I really knew, really understood, only to find out that I really didn’t (e.g., divorce, anxiety/panic attacks, death of a loved one, aging parents)…through personal experience my “penny dropped” and gave greater understanding, new/increased empathy and compassion.

    7.C. Imagine you were in the room with the eleven when Jesus appeared.  Describe what you would have seen. How do you think you would have felt?

    I would have seen the return of my very best friend, my greatest love, oh my goodness, it would have been incredible!!!  Back to reality, it would be a mix of immense joy yet great fear…fear as in, am I going crazy? is this really occurring? could this really be for real?

    7.D. What three sections of the OT are mentioned in v. 44?

    1) law of Moses, 2) prophets, 3) psalms

    1. Nanci! So good to see you here!!

  18. I’ve always enjoyed the Bible studies by Dee Brestin and hosted a small group at my home 11 years ago with women and we went through the video and workbook with Dee and Kathy Traccoli. The name escapes me right now.

    I have always been moved by the seasoned Godliness of Dee. I love the purity and holiness I sense coming from her.  It’s about time I signed up.

    1. Cynthia, I agree-I am glad you are signed up!

  19. #5 This Hebrew passage pairs really well with a concept that I just grabbed on to recently. A pastor shared that to “work out” our faith isn’t merely to wrestle it into existence or perfection (like untying a tangled knot or working out a riddle), but it is to “work out” like going to a gym: to make stronger and increase endurance. I never thought of it that way, but this passage in Hebrew reminds me to get fit in a way.

    I’m lame in so many ways I won’t list them all. I think I need to stop prioritizing them and work on them as I notice them. Stop, correct, and prepare the way for it to be different next time, like when you’re learning new machines at the gym.

    For example: for prayer and meditation time when I get so distracted with my calendar and to-dos, I can get all those worldly reminders out of the way on to paper and on my calendar, instead of keeping them in my head. When I pray or am working with scripture, I can set those things aside or put them front-of-mind if they need to be prayed about instead of letting them come and go when they feel like I’m going to forget them. (Does that make sense?)

    #6 Interesting about that Greek word “zeugma” meaning an all-encompassing All. I wish English was so descriptive and edifying. Sometimes I feel like we’re missing out.

    #7 I imagine if I was with the 11, I’d be filled with indescribable joy. I’d be flabbergasted. I get that way now sometimes. God surprises me a lot by helping me find stuff (I lose stuff a lot, not sure why). It’s like He’s my divining rod and I find myself looking somewhere I know I looked 3 times already but what I need appears. I honestly have wondered if God actually moved it there, but I’m sure he’s just focusing me and my attention to recognize what’s going on. My day is filled with “Thank you, God”s when I find something I thought I lost forever or at the most inopportune times. I also credit Him for stopping time when I’m in danger of being late to somewhere important. Somehow, it all works out.  😉

    1. I agree that it can be so hard to keep out distracting thoughts!

  20. Would love to be a part of this study!

    1. Welcome Tracey E! 🙂

  21. So many new ladies! I feel the fresh wind of the Spirit blowing & pulling us all together. Welcome!  🙂

  22. 8. Read Psalm 1 and find everything you can about the man who is blessed.

     

    The man who is blessed does not follow the counsel or advice of the wicked (the godless), he does not adopt the ways of sinners, he does not go along with mocking. I’ve always noticed the “backwards progression” in these opening verses: I think of a person sitting, then standing up, and then walking or moving forward, but here it’s backwards, and if one would do the opposite of what the blessed man does, you may be walking, but then you’ll be standing, and finally sitting, or going nowhere. You’re either moving forward spiritually and closer to God, or you’re headed in the opposite direction, away from Him, and final destination to a wrecked and ruined life. “Standing in the way of sinners” means to me that we can’t avoid being around sinful people, but we must be careful not to let their behavior rub-off on us and thus learn their ways and do them.

     

    The blessed man delights in the law of the Lord and meditates or thinks about it all the time. He is like a tree that thrives because its roots are watered by the streams it is planted by, and he bears fruit. The Lord watches over him, too.

     

    9. How can you be like that man in 2018?

     

    To be like that man, I need to walk in the counsel of God, to be quick to repent when I fall into sin, which is every day, and to delight myself in His Word and learning about Him, and knowing Him more and more. I really have to watch my thoughts, because I am naturally more of a melancholy person and my mind can be filled with thoughts that pull me down into feeling discouraged, hopeless, sad, etc….and lately, that hasn’t been hard to do. I need to replace those thoughts with the truth. By the way, I ordered this book that Lizzy mentioned on the blog a couple of weeks ago that has in it promises from God’s Word.

     

    10. How can you see Jesus hidden in Psalm 1?

     

    Jesus never followed bad advice – He always looked to His Father for direction and while He kept company with “sinners”, He never fell into sin Himself, and He never mocked God. He knew the Scriptures inside and out. When I read “by streams of water” I think of Jesus as being that living stream of water that will refresh and sustain us, and how He said that the Holy Spirit is like a stream of water bubbling up inside of you, leading to eternal life.

     

     

     

     

     

    1. Oh, yes, Susan!  We are either moving ahead with Jesus, or going backwards.  So true that there is a progression and it is so easy for us to get on that escalator headed down.

  23. 8.  This was our sermon text on Sunday!

    The man who is blessed:  does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, meaning taking the advice of the ungodly.

    does not stand in the way of sinners, meaning to live in their lifestyle.

    does not sit in the seat of mockers, meaning turning away from God and mocking those who follow Him.

    what he does do is to take delight in the law of the Lord. He meditates, or chews, on it all day long.

    he resembles a tree planted by plenty of water, lush and fruitful.

    he prospers in whatever he does.

    He is able to stand in the judgement and be in the assembly of the righteous.

    he is watched over by the Lord, protected by Him, and gains life.

     

    9.  How can I be like that man? The sermon application was to have your nose in the Word, delighting in it, and your eyes on Jesus, running the race.

     

    10.  Jesus in Ps 1…. The Psalm describes how Jesus lived doing all those things, and then died for us.

  24. 8. Read Psalm 1 and find everything you can about the man who is blessed.
    He delights not in walking in the counsel of the wicked, nor joins with sinners in sinning nor becoming a scoffer, but rather He delights in God and He delights in His Word. He delights in holiness rather than in sin.
    He draws His life from God and yields fruit (I think this is fruit of the spirit), and he prospers in whatever he does.
    He will not perish.

    9. How can you be like that man in 2018?
    By drinking in His streams of water from His word via meditating in it.  That will help me to grow in delighting in Him more than anyone or anything else.
    10. How can you see Jesus hidden in Psalm 1? 
    This man is Jesus.

  25. The man(woman) who is blessed is separated from the ungodliness of the world.

    She founds joy in meditating on God’s Word and thinks of the scriptures through the day and night.

    The scriptures are the foundation of her life and give her continual  inspiration, just like a continuous stream. Because of her abiding in this source of strength there is fruit in her life, as the Spirit’s fruit: joy and peace and love. This is an ongoing growth, it never dries up or withers.

    She prospers in her relationships and endeavors and the joy increases as she abides.

    God protects her and is always with her.

    How can I be like this person?

    That is a result of how I meditate and keep my focus on Jesus. How I abide each day and obey the Law and separate myself from worldly values and those who put their trust in man.

    I see Jesus in the Psalm as He is the source of the Law;He is the giver of all good gifts; He is the One who makes the promise and I trust in His promises.

    This psalm is very special to me and I have memorized most of it. So thankful for the encouragement from Dee and others to memorize scripture. It is the key for me to meditate.

  26. 8. Read Psalm 1 and find everything you can about the man who is blessed.

    Verses 1&2:
    The person who is blessed is careful where they spend their time and who they spend their time with.  
    (Does not walk in the counsel of the wicked)
    That person doesn’t go to ungodly people for advice listening to their ways on how to live. The counsel of the world would have us throw off all vestiges of Christian life and godly living.  
    (Does not stand in the way of sinners)
    A blessed person doesn’t spend their time among ungodly people living the way they do being one of them. I know we are living in this world and are a witness for Christ but it means we don’t embrace sinful living.  When he was a young man my husband golfed in our small town for a few years because he felt obligated from his work place to have the association with other businessmen. One evening he came home frustrated by his time there and said “I’ll never be one of them”. It was a clarifying moment for him as a believer trying to be accepted by the world. 
    (Does not sit in the seat of scoffers) Sitting down with connotes joining in. I think of “coffee groups” that are places of gossip and critical spirits. The blessed person is not part of such groups. 
    Verse 3:
    A blessed person lives and spends time in God’s Word. Reading it, memorizing it and thinking on it. Like a tree with an adequate water supply he grows and flourishes. The Psalm says “yields its fruit in its season”.  There are seasons for plants and for people as well.  I think sometimes we try to force fruit out of season when there needs to be growth and strengthening of the plant first but there will be fruit in it’s season. A rooted mature plant will produce fruit. 
    Verse 6:
    for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,…. 
    This is a blessed thought that the Lord knows all about me and my life. I am never alone or with out direction because of Him. 

    9. How can you be like that man in 2018?
    In the flesh I fail often in my Christian walk but I know that Scripture is all important in my life. Reading it, memorizing it, studying it and living it out are what will allow Christ to reveal Himself to me and move and work in my life for good. 

    10. How can you see Jesus hidden in Psalm 1? 
     
    Jesus is the perfect man portrayed in this Psalm. He lived it out fully.  He is the example of “The man” from verse 1. 

  27. I am looking forward to diving into the Psalms with you during The Bleak Bleak winter. Here is too new, or renewed good habits 🙂 that will start next week when everybody goes back to work and school lol

  28. 8. Read Psalm 1 and find everything you can about the man who is blessed. 
     

    Blessed is the man who walks in the way of the Lord;  he meditates on Gods laws and is like a fruitful tree. He prospers in everything.

     
    9. How can you be like that man in 2018? 
     

    Well, I can consider God first, before anything else.

     
    10. How can you see Jesus hidden in Psalm 1? 
     

    I’m not really sure, but the psalmist is comparing the righteous to the wicked. So, could it be where it is described that the sinners will not “…stand in the judgement…” meaning that the “righteous” one will?

  29. 10. How can you see Jesus hidden in Psalm 1? 

    Jesus is our Living water. (See Jesus’ words in John 4; vs. 10 ‘Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”’  And v. 14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”)

    He gives us life so that even in the heat and the storms of life we yield fruit and our leaves do not wither. We have seasons. Sometimes it is harvest time and sometimes it is frigid winter. Someone told me that even while the trees look dead in winter, they are actually living in the roots and growing. That is why snow melts around the trunks of trees first. That makes sense to me and it encourages me during winter’s cold blast (physically and spiritually).

     

  30. I’m excited to join the study and be blessed by the Word.

  31. 8. Read Psalm 1 and find everything you can about the man blessed.

    He delights in the law (word) of the Lord,  meditates continuously on the word of God, is continually being nourished, is a fruit bearer in all seasons, he prospers, is watched over by God, is blessed, is a blessing to others.

    9. How can you be like that man in 2018?

    By abiding in the Lord (John 15:4-5).  Practically speaking…regular/daily reading of the bible, scripture memorization, engaged and diligent in bible study, responding to the Lord’s guidance/nudging, blessing others/”paying it forward”.

    10. How can you see Jesus hidden in Psalm 1?

    Jesus is described in the first three verses…Jesus is the Psalm 1 man.

  32. So grateful

  33. I sensed God’s presence in the beautiful soprano voices raised up on Christmas Eve, like angels

  34. 8). Ps 1… He doesn’t follow ungodly counsel, but abides in the Word of God & meditates on it day & night. He bears fruit & sends his roots down into the stream (fresh flowing water)., he prospers.

    9). How can I be like that man? By keeping my eyes on Jesus, staying in the Word daily, & sending my roots deep into the soil of His love. Asking His help to apply what He teaches me, & to stand…. firmly planted.

    10).How can I see Jesus hidden in Ps 1.?   I wasn’t sure at first, but I know He is the Living Word that I must be rooted in. He is also the Living water that I need to take in daily.  I love how some of u said that Jesus is the man in Psalm 1. Yes, that makes sense & is a beautiful picture. The Tree of Life!

  35. Blessed…
    Who delights in the law of the Lord
    Who meditates on it day and night
    Watered regularly
    Fruitful in season and prospers
    Watched by the Lord
    Does not walk in step with wicked, stand or sit (still in the world but not of the world)
     
    9. How can you be like that man in 2018?
    To read the Bible regularly and journal application and thanksgiving
    To stay committed to doing this blog
    To believe God’s Word and to stand on His promises
    10. How can you see Jesus hidden in Psalm 1? 
    He is the Psalm 1 Man as many has said here. Oh, to be more like Him everyday.
     
    A personal testimony: Today, I had the opportunity to live out what I have been learning in the Word through this blog. Some of you know about the situation with a parent in our school. I thought it has been taken care of but some important things were not taken of (I know God knows, He is sovereign and man’s oversight does not surprise Him). I could have stood my ground (and it would be messy) and was prompted by the Spirit to submit to a solution that I believe is for the best. My boss does not agree with this solution and have apologized to me for this turn of event. I told him I am OK with it and am trusting God to work things out. For a few days before today, I had this unsettled feeling that something is not quite right so I figure this was the cause. Although I feel wronged, I am at peace and confident that God is paving the way for something that is good for everyone involved. This only gave me the impetus to stay grounded in His Word and to call on Him when the going gets tough.

  36. Trying to see if I was able to change my gravitar

    1. Cyndi, let me know if you are successful in changing your gravatar. I was not successful.

  37.  

     
    This is just a cursory assessment of Tim Keller’s sermon. He makes the point of what the bible says about happiness is radically different from what our culture teaches and from what we often think should be natural. He makes 4 points about happiness from Psalm 1. 

    1. Happiness is possible. 
    2. Real Happiness is fundamental and not circumstantial.
    3. Happiness cannot be found directly. It is a byproduct of searching for something else. He said “Seek for righteousness and you will get happiness. But if you seek for happiness you will get neither”.  Keller commented that the the less you are concerned about your happiness and the more you are concerned about Him the happier you get. 
    4. Happiness is not something that happens to you but it is something you choose. It lies in where our loyalties are. He says what owns you affects your happiness. I would say our idols keep us from happiness. I have to turn away from those things that have an unhealthy hold on my life. From this Psalm the key is to “delight in the law of the Lord”.  We need to recognize we owe God and we need to choose to serve Him. In making God our King He becomes our Father.

     

  38. 11.  Tim Keller on Ps 1.

    people used to think that wisdom was something accumulated over time, so the elderly were valued. And the people then were most generally happy. In our time, we think we are much more advanced and already have wisdom, but are generally unhappy. The Bible says that what happiness comes from is cosmic in scope. This Psalm is the gateway or summary for the whole book, and even in a way for the Bible.

    1. Happiness Is Possible

    the statement in verse 1 is staggering, that there is a blessed or happy condition. As children, we start out assuming happiness is natural. As we experience more of life, we find out otherwise. Generally, the most successful people are the most cynical. We end up thinking happiness is impossible. But Christians know that it is possible.

    2.  Happiness Offered by God is Fundamental

    our common mistake is to think of happiness as superficial, dependent on circumstances. The tree in this Psalm is not always bearing fruit; it goes through seasons. Real happiness is found at the root level. Not by what happens to you, but by what you are. A Christian is not just someone religious or nice, but someone who has been planted by God into His nature and rooted in Him. We are not chaff that has no root. The tree does sometimes experience adversity or affliction, but it doesn’t wither because of where the roots are. 1 Peter 1:6 says we rejoice even in pain, even in suffering. When it is dry, we have to pull harder through the roots to get more of God. Joy can even be stimulated by the problems, not for lack of pain, but in the understanding of Who holds me.

     

    More to come tomorrow.

  39. What a great way to start my day…

    11. Psalm 1 notes and comments.

    Historically most cultures believed wisdom was accumulated; they cherished ancient traditions and revered older people.  That has changed in modern times (since some time in the 1800’s to the present day).  In this modern day, it is believed that human reason and empirical investigation are the tools to find truth and figure out human life.  Keller questions if we have really made progress via technology.  He acknowledges that we are safer and have greater ease and comfort on a physical level, but notes that there is much more self pity, boredom, and despair in this day.  Keller states that progress doesn’t equate to happiness.

    Keller recommends that we each ask ourselves the question of whether we are a fundamentally, consistently happy person.  If not, why?

    The four points of the sermon related to Psalm 1 are:

    1. Happiness is possible.

    Keller shared that most humans start out thinking that happiness is natural, but as we mature we realize that happiness isn’t easy.  He stated that the most gifted, successful people are often the most cynical about happiness.  Some end up thinking that happiness is unachievable.  He noted that there are also those who are too busy to notice.

    The issue regarding happiness is that it is often being sought wrongly.

    2. Biblical happiness is fundamental happiness and not superficial.

    Keller states that our happiness is subject to “seasons.”  It is a mistake to try to find happiness in circumstances, the external; happiness is found inside, in what you are.  Happiness is brought about by our allegiance, not circumstances.  Keller pointed out that in affliction our “roots” go down even stronger and happiness is stimulated by hardship…His right hand upholds me.  Times of suffering are sure to come, yet in Christ our “leaves” will remain “green.”

    3. Happiness can never be found directly, it is always a byproduct

    Keller stated that if we seek righteousness, we will get happiness; if we seek happiness (which he views is the fundamental bent of the human soul), we will get nothing.  If being happy is our main objective, we will fail to be happy.  Our allegiance should be to God…the only way to come to God rightly is to come for Him, to serve Him.  We are indebted to God for all He has done for us.

    4. Happiness is a choice

    There is a difference between wanting something and having it own you…having it own you is idolatry.  Keller recommends asking our selves what the fundamental allegiances are in our life.  He cautions that we must turn away from things that have us by the heart; we must be totally and genuinely allegiant only to God and His desires for us.  Keller shared that Christians tend to be happier and sadder, Christians are more sensitive, they feel the pain of the world.  A Christian’s consolation is God…the gospel…the gospel brings joy.

     

    This sermon is such a great reminder that when I put first things first everything else falls in line.

     

  40. The Search for Happiness’ sermon notes:Part I

    We live in a modern age where there is a scorn of the ancient. We think we have technology tools, but it does not make life for us happier than our ancestors, though life is physically safe. Instead we have self-pity, boredom, despair. There is much cynicism among the most successful.

    What does the Bible tell us about happiness?

    Principle #1 Happiness is possible. It is not natural as we thought and it is not easy as we thought.

    Why do so few people have it? They seek it through circumstances, externals.

    Principle #2 Happiness is fundamental. Like a tree planted on the river bank with a constant stream.

    It is inside you, where your roots are. A godly person is not just a nice person, but is rooted into something outside of himself. It is the divine nature. The tree experiences affliction and has to put its roots deeper down. There is deep joy in the midst of deep distress, yet the leaf does not wither.

     

     

     

    1. Shirley-just thought of a comment shared by a much older friend- her grandchildren would sometimes tease her and say, “Grandma, that is so yesterday!”  I think we sometimes do that withe ancient wisdom. We scorn it by saying the law of the Lord is irrelevant this age, so yesterday. So far from the truth!

  41. Bev, Mary B and Nanci-thank you for your notes. I took many notes as well and love the metaphor of the green leaves and being planted by streams of water. Dig deep into the well of the Everlasting and no one  and nothing can take away our happiness. I am beginning to look at all the adverse circumstances in my life and the lives of those I  love from the perspective of the Psalm 1 man/woman. What release from the idol of self-love!

  42. 12. How is living like the man in Psalm 1 related to establishing a new habit of eating right, spending right, loving right?
    The man in Psalm 1 doesn’t put himself in places that contribute to ungodly living and places of unproductive life.  But rather he delights in and meditates on God’s Word and God’s way of living.  By drawing from God his life becomes fruitful and productive.  God is our very source and reason for right living.

  43. Mary B, Nancy & Shirley:  Thank you for your notes!!! I heard this sermon once before, but the volume is broken on my computer so I wasn’t able to listen this time.  🙁  Your reflections were so helpful.

    Bing,  thanks for sharing about your difficult situation at work. Good for u for following the Spirit’s promptings. That took courage & faith!  I like “dig deep into the well of the Everlasting”, & this:  “I am beginning to look at all the adverse circumstances in my life and the lives of those I  love from the perspective of the Psalm 1 man/woman. What release from the idol of self-love!”

  44. Tim Keller’s sermon: THIS IS THE BEST KELLER SERMON I HAVE EVER HEARD!!  I don’t have time to edit and there is so much so I hope this helps, but you must listen to this instead of reading notes-seriously. So good.

    The modern age is characterized by a scorn of the ancient or the past. Human reason and empirical investigation will get us the truth. now we have the tools with which we will be able to solve the problems of life. How have we done? Have we really made progress when it comes to the problems and mysteries of life? Technology has made us physically safer. We can also say there has been a reversal of slavery, etc. Longer life expediencies, etc. but are we happier than we used to be before our modern age? If you read the journals of our ancestors? Do you see as much self pity, boredom, meaninglessness or despair? They were happier than we are.  The Bible has said the issues that make you happy or unhappy are profoundly cosmic, spiritual, and unchanged from millennia.

    Have you in this modern world learned to become happy and stay happy? How can we be happy?

    All through this teaching in Psalm 1 if I really know this, why am I so unhappy? Am I a fundamentally and consistently happy person and if not, how come? If I know this Psalm has it made me a consistently happy person?

    -This psalm is a summary psalm of the whole book of Psalms. #1. Happiness is possible. “Blessed”-joyful, fulfilled and satisfied. Blessedness is possible-happiness is possible. What do I think of this statement? My thought is, really-all the time?

    -Happiness isn’t anywhere near as easy as we thought. Most of the most successful, experienced and gifted people are the most cynical about the prospect of happiness. The people who are the smartest, rich, popular-go to them and ask them if they are happy.

    -The people who understand what the Bible says, believe that happiness isn’t natural or unachievable but possible. The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

    -If happiness is possible, why do few people have it? Because people seek it wrongly.  The first mistake is that real happiness is a fundamental happiness, not a superficial happiness. The Godly man is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in seasons. the fruit is subject to seasons. It isn’t always producing fruit. This tree is different, it has been planted by a river that makes it produce fruit constantly. Real happiness is found under you- inside you, where your roots are. Happiness doesn’t ever consist in what happens to you, but in what you are. 

    The Bible consistently tells us that a Christian isn’t just a religious person or nice person. Not simply someone who is doing good things but it is someone who is rooted in something beside’s herself.  We are made partakers of a divine nature. Something has been planted from the outside into us. We are rooted in God. The  Christian is a tree. Something has planted me in and now there is an outlook, a power, an understanding htat wasn’t there before and that is where I draw from. The tree experiences affliction and it doesn’t always bear fruit but yet it’s leaf never withers.  Peter said, you rejoice in Him even though you are in deep heaviness. Two present tenses..you are in deep joy even though you are absolutely deep distress. Here is a tree in a drought with no fruit-hurting but yet it’s leaf doesn’t wither because it’s roots are rooted in something  else. Here you are a Christian and something bad has happened  to you-smile and don’t let it get to you. That is unhealthy-that is not God’s peace-that is brainwashing. The tree because it is going though a season of dryness-has to pull out of the bottom more. Has to put it’s roots deeper down-to draw upon it. There is something about the drought that makes you put your roots down in a way you didn’t before. Fundamental happiness, not a light hardheartedness all the time, not a fun and frolicking type person all the time. A joy that is permanent  and overlapping and is stimulated by tragic circumstances. that is how you know if you have the superficial or fundamental happiness that is stimulated by tragic circumstances. You go to him, put your roots down and you sense, not the lack of pain or grief, but  the overwhelming joy that comes up. His right hand upholds me. Under all my pain while the pain is still there-deep underneath there is joy. 

    -Happiness is everywhere you see the word blessed. Happiness can never be found directly or gotten directly. Happiness is only a by product of seeking something else other than happiness. Blessed is he who hungers and thirsts after something more than blessedness. Seek happiness or seek righteousness..The person who is happy is the one who has stopped trying hard to be happy. When we are unhappy it is because we have made something else our trust-like happiness, or something else. The normal and natural habit of our heart-I believe in principals, honesty, integrity etc..but I will sway from them if it means I won’t be happy. Honesty is great, but first seek happiness, etc. We will never find happiness that way. If you make a happy marriage your number one priority you will never have it. If you make your number 1 priority a successful career you will never have it.

    -The only way to come rightly to God  is to say forget happiness, I owe you everything. See what happens in the bad seasons when things go wrong-if you say, what good did it do me to come to church or read the bible? The less I am concerned about my happiness and the more I am concerned about Him.

    -see things that I am doing wrong and make allegiance. First, do you want to be happy? You have to find out who you belong to. Other things own you and you have to find that out.  I am subject to seasons but I have roots. There is a difference between trusting in your spouse and making your spouse your trust. There is a difference between wanting something and having something own you.

    -What are the fundamental allegiances in my life? If I am in despair=i don’t want to live anymore then I need to check my allegiances. What owns me other than Him? Where is my delight? The Law of the Lord is His word-delighting in it-delighting in the Gospel. Delighting in Him. The prodigal son didn’t want comfort or happiness, he wanted the father. In Jesus Christ this great King becomes my father. The water the tree puts it’s root in is the law of the Lord-the word of God, the Gospel. Do I delight in the Gospel until it makes my heart sing? Do I meditate on the prodigal son and the King becoming the father until it makes my heart dance and sing? Happiness comes by listening to the Gospel and singing it to myself and I put my roots down by that. I can be happy..Look at what I am living for and accept and admit my need for the great Gospel of the Lord Jesus and learn to delight in that and play it and listen to it every night. 

    1. I agree, Rebecca…it is one of Keller’s best ever… and the timing in Dee having us listen to it couldn’t have been better for me. It was the catalyst for a much needed refocus.

    2. Yes, these notes are marvellous, Rebecca!

      I owe God everything; God does not owe me happiness. I will seek righteousness and stop trying to be happy. I love the song, Seek ye first the Kingdom of God. Now I see the essence of this sermon . Tim Keller has made this come alive for me. The example of the roots going deeper is so like us when affliction occurs and we grow closer to God.

      The closing of his sermon just gave me so much joy. Sing the gospel to yourself. Look at what you are really living for.

    3. Rebecca–I so agree. This is one of Keller’s that I have on my ipod to listen to regularly–cannot hear it enough! And your notes are a gift to us all! Thank you! I feel like I’m listening again as I read and it is so helpful!

  45. Continuation of notes on Keller

    3. Happiness can Never be Found Directly

    we think that by pursuing happiness, we will get it. It can only be experienced as a byproduct of pursuing something higher. Every time you see ‘blessed’ in the Bible, it is always connected to reaching for something higher. What are my true allegiances? Jer 17 urges you not to make something other than God your trust. When we seek happiness over honesty or obedience, we lose it all. God is committed to your happiness, but He knows that it is only in Him you will find it. If you come to God just to get happiness, you are going to a false god. It is when you come to the true God knowing you owe Him everything that it changes. What do you do when it gets tough? Do you seek him more? Or do you start seeking elsewhere?

    4.  Happiness is Something you Choose

    happiness is not something that happens to you. Psalm 1 talks about your actions in connection with whether you are happy or not. What you think about, or the intellect. the walking, or the going along with. And the sitting, or where you feel you belong. Part of it is the difference between wanting something and being owned by it. If you’ve been a Christian a long time but aren’t fundamentally happy, you need to ask yourself who you’re really dancing to. Look at the negatives in Psalm 1 and ask ‘is this something I am clinging to?’ Look at the positives and ask do I live these by practice, or just by mental assent? The law of the Lord means the whole counsel of Scripture. Is that what you live by in times of crushing hardship? That is truly delighting in it. Learn to live the whole counsel of God the way you would learn to play an instrument, spend time at it and practice it. Persevere.

    I am encouraged this morning to start over again on eating right. The last few days have been bad, but I can try again today to do better. I don’t have to give up. Like Edison, I can say I found another few ways that don’t work. I can go back to the Game Book and reread what I am to be focusing on, and dance to the right One.

  46. 12. How is living like the man in Psalm 1 related to establishing a new habit?

    “What is my focus?”…that is the question that looms.  If I am solely focused on the circumstance/result (e.g., weight loss), then as Keller says, the result is “owning” me, i.e., my efforts become so tied up in desire for the result that I lose sight of what is truly important (e.g., God’s desire for me to be healthy).  Once the circumstance/result becomes all I am focused on, I am in idolatry. My focus must be on God and what God desires for me.

  47. Delighting in God’s law or as Tim Keller put it: “delighting in the whole Bible as the rule of my life” has all encompassing effects.  My choices in all areas of life are transformed by my adoration of God.  As I live to please Him, I seek to keep my temple healthy and clean, I offer what God has blessed me with(my money) for His will and His glory holding lightly to all material and perishable things.  My relationships are transformed as I seek to offer a love that only God Himself could place in my heart.  What a debt of gratitude we owe to a God who gave so much already in Jesus and continues to give to us lavishly through His living Word.

    I am so grateful for this study. All of your testimonies and thoughts are so uplifting!

     

  48. All the wonderful notes here are reminding me of our dear Deanna. Does anyone have an update?

    1. I know…as I typed my sermon notes I too thought of Deanna and her excellent sermon notes.  Her saga has been ongoing for about a year now…:(  The last FB update was the last update I received from her daughter.

  49. I agree if at all possible make it a priority to listen to Keller’s sermon. As I said my notes were just a cursory recap and they don’t even begin to recap the richness and depth of the teaching.  I am a right brained note taker and don’t do justice to some of the wonderful detail of what he gives when I write it down.  Also it is important to listen for yourselves because different  points speak to different needs in each of our hearts.

    Laura I too have wondered about Deanna remembering her sermon notes.

  50. 13. What is your take-a-way and why?

    God needs to be at the center of everything, genuinely the main focus.  The bottom line is that God is all deserving of my all…He has done what no other could do, and did/does so with an unfathomable love…He loves me more than I love myself and wants what is best for me.