120 Days Challenge in the Book of Psalms

Friends,

I would like to extend an invitation for the upcoming 120 days Challenge starting on September 1❣️

As you may already know, I love the book of Psalms.

We will complete the entire book of Psalms, 150 chapters, this coming Fall.

Every year during the Holiday season, I’m in touch with personal losses, regrets, loneliness, and grief so I have decided to establish a new tradition this year! I want to read and journal the book of Psalms every Holiday season just like I did when the Lord rescued me from the pit of darkness.

In Christ, there is victory and He is our ABBA Father, Refuge and He is our only Soulmate.

Join our challenge today…

I would love for all of you to come along side of me every year.

We will begin the #120daysBookofPsalmsChallenge on Sunday, September 01, as I mentioned earlier.

“Read the Book of Psalms, 1-2 chapter(s) a day”

Mondays thru Fridays, one chapter a day.

Saturdays & Sundays, two chapters a day.

We will be reading one or two chapters a day, inscribing the verse in 1-2 translations, writing down our observations, inscribing the cross references of the selected verse and journaling daily including Sundays for 120 days.

Yes, it will be quite intense BUT it will be quite enriching… the Holy Spirit will embrace our souls one day at a time.

I will share a fact or two from the commentary BE and if you read a commentary on your own, you are welcome to share with the group. You will then earn an extra ticket to enter the general drawing.

If you choose color coding, you will also earn an extra ticket for the general drawing.

You will enter the general drawing for the following:

* for each day you journal and share,

* extra ticket for sharing commentary,

* extra ticket for color Coding.

The Grand Prize winner of the #120daysBookofPsalmsChallenge will obtain the entire Bible Reading Journal Series for 2020 or seven volumes of your choice in case you want to choose one or two of your favorites, a retail value of $80.00 (this is for the person who journals for 120 days)

Note, if there are more than one winner, these winners will be part of a “special” drawing.

For the second winner prize:

The winner will receive the #120 days challenge tote.

For the third winner prize:

The next 3 winners of the “general“ drawing will win a pencil case, “Rise Up and Journal.”

Who’s counting for the #120daysChallenge?! I am.

To purchase your ’special Edition’ journal today, go to this link:

The Bible Reading Journal Series: The Book of Psalms. Special Edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/107530251X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_uH2uDb1717R1F

To join the accountability FB closed group for women, go to this link now:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/592519521194570/?ref=share

If you have any question(s), do not hesitate to email me directly.

Let us all rise up and Journal His Word one day at a time.

 

 

Intimacy with the Lord

Closeness with our Lord = Quiet Time + His Word + Self-Examination + fervent Prayer.

Let us explore the daily process for the Bible Reading Journal today.
It typically takes me approximately 30 minutes to read a chapter a day and journal. It may seem a long time but our time with the Lord is priceless and memorable!

Once we read the chapter, we highlight and inscribe a selected verse or two in different translations. When I inscribe His Word, I am able to memorize it a lot easier. I then journal ‘how’ I am going to step out in obedience in practical ways.

Later I examine my heart daily so I may repent and forgive, count my blessings and maintain a prayerful lifestyle.

Cross-References allow me to dig deeper into God’s Word and Commentaries enrich my “journaling” experience.

“…but God was working in every detail. He was providing, humbling, sanctifying, forgiving, and drawing their hearts to His in the most necessary and beautiful ways.“ 
Whitney from Love God Greatly Ministries.

“When I read my journals, I see God’s fingerprints all over. Journals are my stones of remembrance (Joshua 4:23-24)“  Adriana Morales-Spokane.

Join our FB Community for women at “The Bible Reading Journal Series”

Next Video Clip: The Bible Reading Journal Series: Verse Color Coding.

Examine the Heart!

Let us Examine our Hearts.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:31‬ ‭NLT

“But now you also put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:8, 19‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:22‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,” 1 Peter ‭2:1‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Memorial Stones

Memorial Stones

“Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”

For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the LORD your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, so that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” Joshua 4:6-7, 23-24 NASB

Journaling is a way to reflect on God’s Faithfulness.

All of my journals are priceless keepsakes and much more like memorial stones that last forever.

I get to look back to where I was and see how God has transformed my life over the course of time.

He is good all the time.

His Word renews my mind every day, strengthens my heart in moments of distress and has transformed my life over the past decade alone!

Benefits of Journaling


Did you know journaling has a lot of benefits?

Allow me to share with you some of the benefits today.
Watch today’s video clip: https://youtu.be/2jLr60c8t2c

  • An opportunity to discover things about yourself, 
  • An opportunity to reflect on our lives in the midst of busyness,
  • An opportunity to reflect on God’s Truth,
  • An opportunity to align our lives to His precepts,
  • An opportunity to discover unconfessed sin(s),
  • An opportunity to discover negative emotion(s) including anger, bitterness, jealousy or envy, hurts, and disappointment,
  • An opportunity to count today’s blessings,
  • An opportunity to guard our hearts from negative emotion(s) including unforgiveness and hatred,
  • An opportunity to submit our petitions to the Lord,
  • An opportunity to pray for others,
  • An opportunity to write down your key points from the Pastor’s sermon,
  • An opportunity to reflect back and apply what was learned at a conference or bible study,
  • An opportunity to write Scriptures and explore different Bible versions to grow deeper in our walk with the Lord,
  • An opportunity to write God’s Word to memorize and hide His Truth in our hearts eternally, 
  • An opportunity to establish and maintain an on-going dialogue with our Creator,
  • An opportunity to listen attentively when taking notes in the additional lined pages of the journal, 
  • An opportunity to appreciate how faithful God is in our everyday lives,
  • An opportunity to gain insights and fresh perspective on a given challenge,
  • An opportunity to reflect on learned lessons,
  • An opportunity to seek for God’s wisdom and direction,
  • An opportunity to witness God’s answers to prayers 
  • An opportunity to take notes from your favorite commentaries.

Note, there is no right or wrong way to journal, I would encourage for you to do it. You will grow closer to God and His Word will guard your heart. Everyday stressful or challenging circumstances can lead to worries, anxieties or distress. If we take the time to cast our cares onto the Lord, He will give us rest and peace as soon as we rely on Him for comfort.

Rise Up & Journal today!

A Steadfast Love

When reading the book of Hosea in preparation for an online Bible study, I was so overwhelmed that I did not finish the rest of the book that night. I immediately shut the Bible and sat in my recliner silently for a few minutes.

I was in shock the way the Holy Spirit convicted me.

The prophet, Hosea, was encouraged to marry Gomer, a prostitute. Gomer was promiscuous yet Hosea faithfully loved his beloved wife.  I was blown away by Hosea’s steadfast love.

Hosea 5: 4 highlighted the importance of acknowledging God in everyday pursuits. I was appalled when I was convicted of my sinful nature; ” … a spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord.” My initial thoughts were, “Me? not possible!”  yet I felt repugnant.  When I envisioned myself having ‘a spirit of an harlotry’, I was ashamed for grieving the Holy Spirit then.

In the book of Hosea, the ‘spirit of prostitution’ addressed Israel as a nation who had been unfaithful to the Lord, and disregarded His commands. The nation was corrupted and rebellious. Israel maintained a ‘spirit of prostitution’ when the people did not acknowledge the Lord.

A couple of years ago, the Holy Spirit had convicted me of excessive retail shopping. As much as I have been mindful of frivolous spending in the recent past, I continue to overindulge myself. I always find the best excuses such as, “I truly need this new tote for the upcoming trip.” In my most recent retail experience, I even messaged the retailer and encouraged her to ship the personalized item no later than the 10th of this month. I was precise and persuasive. I was a woman on a ‘lifestyle’ mission.

Have you ever been in pursuit of joy? Have you ever been in pursuit of satisfaction? I find both satisfaction and joy in retail therapy. Do you have a personal habit that you wish to break but have not been able to do so as of yet?

I realized how much I had grieved the Holy Spirit that afternoon. I had monogrammed another handbag for an upcoming trip. If you and I were having a late afternoon coffee break, I would have shared with you how much I love to shop. I spend time on the internet searching for beautiful totes. I am quite obsessed with totes, I admit. When I shop,  I forget about the reckless, spending habit and my unwillingness to change my desires. It sure is an ongoing struggle!

Every time I choose retail therapy, my soul is not fulfilled and it will never be. Nothing on this earth will fulfill my deepest longings. When I fail to pray, I am not relying on His comfort or rest. When I neglect His Word and do not step out in obedience, I am being rebellious. When I do not acknowledge His presence in today’s plan, I am being self-reliant and prideful. The book of Hosea convicted me of having a ‘spirit of a prostitution’ when I obsess over anything else for either joy, satisfaction or relief and disregard the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

Lord, please forgive me for not acknowledging your ways or stepping out in obedience.

The Lord will remain faithful in the midst of our sinful acts.

He wants for all of us to repent, change our careless ways and acknowledge His presence in all we do. “…Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:2-3 NIV)

Lord, please forgive me if I get so distracted by frivolous spending that it drives me away from your presence. I know I can be rebellious, disobedient, prideful or unwilling to change my selfish ways. I can be quite stubborn too.

Help me. Forgive me. Love me. Do not give up on me. You are a God of second chances.

I dislike having the ‘spirit of a prostitute’ but every time I pursue pleasure instead of God’s ways, I am exchanging His eternal perspectives for temporary ones. I am exchanging a Holy Beautiful lifestyle for a lustful lifestyle that may lead me astray.

Lord, I want to renew my mind and change my actions so I may pursue a Holy Beautiful Lifestyle always.  I pray I acknowledge you in everything I do, be prayerful and press on.

Jesus answered, “It is written: worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” (Luke 4: 8 NIV)

God is steadfast and His reckless love is bountiful.

Psalm 51: 1-12 (NIV)

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so  you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

In Jesus’ name I boldly pray, Amen.

Photo courtesy: Ornella Binni @ Splasher

In Christ, I’m Alive and Free!

My dad wanted for me to become a famous concert pianist at a young age. He even dreamed about traveling together for competitions and performances over the course of my adolescence.

My Dreams were different. I wanted to help people in their distress so I became a mental health provider and achieved my ‘American Dream’ over the course of three decades.

Now, my friend, there is nothing wrong about having dreams or specific goals in today’s world. It is healthy to be intentional about our daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals.  Our Lord even recommends for all of us to be purposeful in life and maintain a clear vision; otherwise, we would perish in the long run.

”So go ahead and be intentional every day in pursuit of your American Dream.”I am thankful for accomplishing my ‘American dream’ and so much more. I know God had the best plan for me and He even took me further than I ever imagined or expected.

Be cautious though not to be blindfolded along the way… I know I was!

For so long, I was so proud of my career pursuits and hardly ever acknowledged God in my plans early on in my career.

When our goals become idols, “I must attain this right now” attitude, we may neglect God’s will. I was disobedient and even rebellious when I was on the ‘fast track’. I worked 70-80 hours a week, did not rest a day, smoked up to two packs of cigarettes a day, rushed throughout the day so I would get to the next action step, never had time for family or friends, completed three graduate schools’ programs in a timely manner, and finally attained professional licensure in two different States and a worldwide Board certification at a high price and cost!

Whew!

I am quite exhausted right about now just thinking about the energy I spent all of those years striving for peak performance. Do not be impressed, my friend. I am not here to boast or impress anyone.

I’m here to share briefly with you about the damaging effects of idolatry.

I have been an overachiever since my early college years. I can now relax and enjoy my professional career! I thank God for His wisdom and discernment in the past decade otherwise I would have probably self-destructed. I never had an opportunity to be still and allow God to speak to my heart much less time to renew or be transformed by His Word.

If I would have known He was already there fighting on my behalf, I would have listened to all of His whispers, obeyed His commands and waited on His promises to be fulfilled in His perfect timing. His Truth reminds me today, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus‬ ‭14:14 NIV

I’ve got quite a few regrets today such as: broken, strained and distant relationships with family members, significant upper-respiratory health issues, and the fact I never had time to consider having children.

I was in bondage for way too long! Yes, I was indeed.

Trapped. Blind. Lost. Dead in my transgressions.

The ‘American Dream’ blindfolded me. I was self-centered and selfish when achieving all types of goals.

Until one day…

I heard the Gospel preached at a local Church, It finally came all together. I admitted I was a sinner who was dead in my transgressions and caught up with today’s cultural pursuits and success track.

God was relentless in His pursuit and He never let me go… I finally surrendered it all and started to renew my mind with His Word, my life was transformed thereafter.

The Cross has the final Word, sweet friend, not the ‘American Dream’.

I am now free from the ‘American Dream’ bondage.

I still work hard in everything I do, but my purpose is not to please man anymore. My main purpose is to maintain an eternal perspective, fear our Lord and glorify Him at the end of the day in everything I do.

In Christ, I’m alive and free.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭NIV

How about you my friend? Do you fear man or are you pleasing the Lord today?

We all have a choice.

I chose Christ.

I am alive and free today.

43435E00-42C4-4648-8023-0465291BCE3DPhoto Courtesy: Andressa Voltolini

In Christ, I’m Alive and Free!

My dad wanted for me to become a famous concert pianist at a young age. He even dreamed about traveling together for competitions and performances over the course of my adolescence.

My Dreams were different. I wanted to help people in their distress so I became a mental health provider and achieved my ‘American Dream’ over the course of three decades.

Now, my friend, there is nothing wrong about having dreams or specific goals in today’s world. It is healthy to be intentional about our daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals.  Our Lord even recommends for all of us to be purposeful in life and maintain a clear vision; otherwise, we would perish in the long run.

”So go ahead and be intentional every day in pursuit of your American Dream.”I am thankful for accomplishing my ‘American dream’ and so much more. I know God had the best plan for me and He even took me further than I ever imagined or expected.

Be cautious though not to be blindfolded along the way… I know I was!

For so long, I was so proud of my career pursuits and hardly ever acknowledged God in my plans early on in my career.

When our goals become idols, “I must attain this right now” attitude, we may neglect God’s will. I was disobedient and even rebellious when I was on the ‘fast track’. I worked 70-80 hours a week, did not rest a day, smoked up to two packs of cigarettes a day, rushed throughout the day so I would get to the next action step, never had time for family or friends, completed three graduate schools’ programs in a timely manner, and finally attained professional licensure in two different States and a worldwide Board certification at a high price and cost!

Whew!

I am quite exhausted right about now just thinking about the energy I spent all of those years striving for peak performance. Do not be impressed, my friend. I am not here to boast or impress anyone.

I’m here to share briefly with you about the damaging effects of idolatry.

I have been an overachiever since my early college years. I can now relax and enjoy my professional career! I thank God for His wisdom and discernment in the past decade otherwise I would have probably self-destructed. I never had an opportunity to be still and allow God to speak to my heart much less time to renew or be transformed by His Word.

If I would have known He was already there fighting on my behalf, I would have listened to all of His whispers, obey His commands and waited on His promises to be fulfilled in His perfect timing. His Truth reminds me today, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus‬ ‭14:14 NIV

I’ve got quite a few regrets today such as: broken, strained and distant relationships with family members, significant upper-respiratory health issues, and the fact I never had time to consider having children.

I was in bondage for way too long! Yes, I was indeed.

Trapped. Blind. Lost. Dead in my transgressions.

The ‘American Dream’ blindfolded me. I was self-centered and selfish when achieving all types of goals.

Until one day…

I heard the Gospel preached at a local Church, It finally came all together. I admitted I was a sinner who was dead in my transgressions and caught up with today’s cultural pursuits and success track.

God was relentless in His pursuit and He never let me go… I finally surrendered it all and started to renew my mind with His Word, my life was transformed thereafter.

The Cross has the final Word, sweet friend, not the ‘American Dream’.

I am now free from the ‘American Dream’ bondage.

I still work hard in everything I do, but my purpose is not to please man anymore. My main purpose is to maintain an eternal perspective, fear our Lord and glorify Him at the end of the day in everything I do.

In Christ, I’m alive and free.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭NIV

How about you my friend? Do you fear man or are you pleasing the Lord today?

We all have a choice.

I chose Christ.

I am alive and free today.

43435E00-42C4-4648-8023-0465291BCE3DPhoto Courtesy: Andressa Voltolini