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IMG_2327_vintagei’ve never really “failed” at something that i tried really hard at before. sure, i fail at certain exercise attempts or keeping a strict diet… but have i ever failed a class? a test? nope.

so that’s why a little letter last week rocked me. it had big words, without explanation, typed in very unsympathetic font: FAIL.

ack. i failed? how horrible! how embarrassing. i actually felt like i had sinned.

Husbuddy said that was silly, we all fail. we’re not perfect. it never says, “thou shall not fail in the bible”.

see, i know that. i know i’m not perfect. actually, i know that i’m pretty mediocre at pretty much everything i do. i was never on top of my class or anything, but i’ve always at least PASSED. even when i thought i had “failed” my freshmen french class in college, i still got a C {oh the horror}! i was totally embarrassed to tell my parents, and i had all sorts of excuses lined up-like my degree was time consuming, i had taken too many credits that semester, i had visited the teacher’s office hours every week!  but that C still hung over my head and i was ashamed.

this time, i have no excuse. i paid a lot of money to take a test, that i need to pass in order to finish my architecture education… and i FAILED.  and i feel shame and horror at the same time.

but then i hear a whisper.

i hear a whisper that says to me, peace. you need ME.

i was reminded. i NEED God more than anything. i can do NOTHING without Him. i will always fail without Him. in my head, sometimes i may think that i can do it myself…i can work hard enough, study long enough, push myself hard enough, almost that i can save myself if i just work hard. but God gently reminds me, through a letter with big ugly words, that i need Him more than anything else.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”

Psalm 73:26

does that take away my frustration with myself? not really. but it does take away my shame. and i am humbled. and i am thankful that God reminds me over and over and over that i need Him.

we all NEED Him. we will all fail without Him. can i get an amen?

xo-kimberly renee

psalm 62-8

Photo Feb 19, 11 07 47 AM

i was reading yesterday in Luke chapter 8. The Parable of the Sower is a pretty common one that if you attend church, you may hear pretty often. but it struck me in a new way, so i thought i’d share some thoughts from my journal.

if you feel like reading the verse, it’s here: {i’m going to summarize it anyway, so you can skip reading this part if you want}

4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up,it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.”

Luke 8:4-15

in the parable, The Sower spreads seed onto 4 different types of places or soil.  Jesus explains that the soil is really 4 different types of people who hear the word of the Lord.

  1. on the path the seed was trampled- Jesus explains that the devil takes away the word from the people so that they do not believe.    …we all know of some people like this, who have heard of the word, but it doesn’t seem to be a fit for them, so they go on their merry way.
  2. the seed that lands on the rock grows but then in withers because it has no moisture. Jesus explains that its like people who receive the word with joy but at time of testing they fall away from the faith because they have no root.  …this one makes me sad.  i bet we all have stories of people we know who seem totally sold out for Jesus and then life changes, something happens, and they fall away… or even reject God.
  3. some seed falls among thorns, the thorns grew up along with the seed but the thorns choked the fruit and Jesus says that it’s like people who hear the word, but as they go along, they get choked up by all the cares and riches and pleasures of this world so they produce no fruit.  …this one scares me. it just seems so relevant in our society…
  4. thankfully some seed falls on good soil, it grew and yielded hundred fold. this is people who hear the word-hold fast in an honest and good heart and they bear fruit with patience.   …this one humbles me.

i can’t seem to stop thinking about the  seed that fell “among thorns”. isn’t this us? isn’t this the health + wealth preaching that you hear all over America? isn’t this the cycle that we get caught up in every day? thinking that we need to have the “American Dream”?!!!

i mean seriously. how often do i avoid my quiet time for a few extra minutes of sleep. or avoid opening my bible because the latest magazine arrived in the mail. or get way too excited when i find an awesome sale for a new shirt from JCrew? or get so caught up in the “things” of this life? this little verse is a warning to us rich Christians. even if we don’t feel rich, gosh, i certainly don’t, but aren’t we?  don’t we let the “stuff” and “pleasures” of this life in get the way of letting God work in our lives on a daily basis to bring us ever closer to Him? for HIS glory? not ours.

obviously, if we’re honest with ourselves, we all hope that we”ll be the “good soil”. but that humbles me because sometimes it’s hard to see “fruit” in your life. but here Jesus says, “they bear fruit with patience”. it takes time to bear fruit. you’re not going to be a perfect servant the minute you accept Christ into your heart. you’re not going to have perfect joy or love everyone right away. it takes time. and patience.

and patience is something that i seem to lack. i mean, sometimes it feels like i don’t bear any fruit at all. and i wonder, am i even a “good soil”? or am i a fake? among the thorns? going after the things that are of this world and not seeing with open eyes, Christ. i’m humbled. and i ask for patience. and i hope that Christ has even more patience with me. because heaven knows, i’m not very good at having my focus in the right place. and i’m sure not very good at bearing fruit on my own.

God help me. i can not do this alone.

thanks for reading along with my journal as i open up my heart. because it was just a stream of thought, it may not all make sense, please contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions or thoughts! i’d love to hear from you!

xo-kimberly renee

{pictures are from our anniversary trip to the southern coast of Maine. we had a great time together celebrating our 6 years! Doesn’t Husbuddy look dapper? ;) hee hee.}

today’s verse comes from Psalm 130:5-6sometimes i take the time to go back to my junior high days of writing in bubble letters. (and really, who doesn’t? haha) the bright colors really make me feel grown up too.

but seriously,  this is my verse for today, this week, who knows, maybe even month. i’ve been feeling so dry, so alone in my walk with God lately but deep down i know that i must just wait on the Lord.  i’m hoping that taking the time to write it out will help me to memorize it. that it may be more real to my heart if i just hold on tight to it’s words. this morning i finally had my first quiet time in days… weeks really. sometimes i get out of the habit of reading my bible and then i wonder why i feel so dry. um, hello? how thick headed can i be? this verse even says, “in His WORD i hope” it means i have to actually be in the Word… to have the hope and to wait for the Lord. i’m not exactly sure what i’m waiting for, but i think i’m waiting for Him to meet me, to provide, to be my everything. so i wait. my soul waits more than watchmen for the morning.

then i heard this song that i haven’t heard in a while. “all i can say” from David Crowder… it’s an old one but so good. listening to it it hit me how much this is me at the moment.  i feel so alone and sometimes i think, come on God, “don’t you see me crying? did you hear me call your name? wasn’t it you i gave my heart to? i wish you’d remember where you set it down.” and i don’t know what else to say. i don’t know what else to pray. but just saying that, just saying the truth and giving my “everything” is all God asks. i may feel alone, but it doesn’t do any good to hold it in and not come to God with it.  but then i love the last verse of the song: “i didn’t notice you standing here, i didn’t notice you holding me, i didn’t notice you were crying too, i didn’t know that was you washing my feet.” God just asks you to come to Him. He’s there the whole time. He’s holding you and crying with you. He’s “washing your feet” like Jesus washed the disciples feet. He’s there.

so i wait for the Lord and hope in His word and promises. my soul waits like the watchmen wait for the morning.

blessings my friends,

xo-kimberly renee.

“I wait for the Lord my soul waits, and in His word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” pslam 130:5-6