Archive - Prayerfully and Proactively Prioritizing and Planning RSS Feed

Is Your Ministry Carrying Loads? Numbers 4:31


Today’s Scripture Reading: Numbers 4:1-5:31

“I know God put me on this earth for a special purpose!”  “Who knows, I may be the next Billy Graham, Rick Warren or Beth Moore!”

Am I the only one who’s ever thought this?

I’m pretty sure God’s special purpose for me isn’t to be the next “anybody.”

He has plans that only I can fulfill.

But what if God’s purpose for me isn’t what “I” want it to be?

I wonder if the Merarites were disappointed when they were given their “special purpose”?

As we’ve learned in Exodus, the Levites were chosen by God to take care of the Tabernacle.  Today we saw the Lord hand out duties for the different divisions of the Levites. All the Merarites who were between the ages of 30 and 50 and eligible had one duty…one job…one ministry:

Their only duty at the Tabernacle will be to carry loads. They will carry the frames of the Tabernacle, the crossbars, the posts, and the bases; also the posts for the courtyard walls with their bases, pegs, and ropes; and all the accessories and everything else related to their use. Assign the various loads to each man by name.  So these are the duties of the Merarite clans at the Tabernacle. They are directly responsible to Ithamar son of Aaron the priest.” Numbers 4:31-33  (Emphasis mine)

What if my special purpose or your special in life is to carry loads?

Not like the Merarites, who carried the pieces of the Tabernacle but carrying the loads of the hurting, lost, orphaned, or widowed of our families, churches, communities or world.

It took strong backs for the Merarites to hand-carry the Tabernacle each time God said, “It’s time to pack up and move.”

What does it take to carry the loads of the lost, hurting, orphaned, or widowed?

Here’s the questions God asked me today:

  • Dianne, are you willing to carry the loads of the hurting?
  • Are you willing to suffer so that you can truly understand the pain of others?
  • Are you willing to walk a hard road so that your experiences will help someone who literally wouldn’t survive without you?
  • Is another person worth that much to you?

These are very hard questions.  I’m really glad God is carrying out His plans and purposes for my life without asking my permission. I most likely would have said, “No” to the hard times in my life, if I were given a choice. I’m just not that self-sacrificing.

Who do you know that needs a word of encouragement, a hot meal, some groceries, their house cleaned, to be taken to the doctor, to have a real friend…the list could go on and on.

Who do you know that needs someone to help carry their load?

Heavenly Father, I want to carry the load of those who are suffering.  Touch my heart.  Make me willing.  Give me eyes to see what You see!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Numbers 6:1-27; Numbers 10:1-36

Lord, I Want to be Able to “Sleep With No Cause to Fear” Leviticus 26:6

Today’s Scripture Reading: Leviticus 25:24-26:46

Today’s Devotion: Evidence of Our Relationship

Heavenly Father, what an amazing promise You made to the Israelites:

I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land. Leviticus 26:6

Lord, fear and sleeplessness seem to go hand in hand. Statistics vary, but many say that almost 50% of all adults in America have trouble sleeping.

Heavenly Father, is Your promise in Leviticus 26:6 for today?

I believe it is.  Our problem is we want Your promises but we don’t want Your conditions.

Do the conditions You required of the Israelites to live in peace and have sweet sleep pertain to us today?

  1. Do not make idols or set up carved images, or sacred pillars, or sculptured stones in your land so you may worship them. I am the Lord your God.
  2. You must keep my Sabbath days of rest and show reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord. Leviticus 26:1-2

If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will… Leviticus 26:3

Lord, many would read these conditions and say, “That’s the Old Testament, that’s not for today.”  Yes, Jesus You came to release us from the Law, but many of the requirements our Heavenly Father gave us in the Law were practical things that are still true today.  After all, You made our bodies, You made our minds.  You know what makes them work best. Our salvation may not be dependent upon it but these guidelines could be the missing link to our physical well-being and peace.

  1. Putting God first in our lives, trusting Him with our future, and believing He is in total control of the world in which we live brings peace.
  2. Taking time each week to unplug and unwind, and get away from the stress of the world makes for better sleep.

Lord, help us to see Your Word as the operator’s manual for the human body.  Holy Spirit, draw us to it daily.  Help us to see every word as valuable, even the details of Leviticus.  Teach us how to live in peace and have sweet sleep.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Leviticus 27:1-34; Numbers 1:1-54

Lord, Teach Me to Rest–Leviticus 23:3

Today’s Scripture Reading: Leviticus 23:1-25:23

Today’s Devotion: Be Assured

Heavenly Father, rest is so important to You.  You made us and You know our physical bodies need times of complete rest to be healthy and pleasing to You.

“You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of complete rest, an official day for holy assembly. It is the Lord’s Sabbath day, and it must be observed wherever you live.” Leviticus 23:3

Lord, why is it so hard for me to rest?  What does rest look like in the 21st century?

I don’t think rest is watching T.V. or staring at a computer screen.  Today’s world is so tired yet we spend many hours each day in activities that involve media.  Lord, what does rest look like to You?

Lord, you designed the Sabbath to be a day to relax, be with family, study, and reflect.  It was truly a gift. Help me to receive this gift.  Whether my day of Sabbath rest is on Saturday, Sunday, or a day during the week help me to be intentional is pulling away from the cares of the world.

Holy Spirit speak to me and teach me how to rest in a way that’s pleasing to You!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Leviticus 25:24-26:46

Can You Talk to God for Me? Exodus 20:19


Today’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:1-22:15

When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.

And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”

“Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”

As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.

Exodus 20:18-21

As I read these words my first thought was one of judgment.  “Dumb Israelites.  They had the privilege of being in the “literal” presence of the one and only living God and they let fear steal that awesome experience.”

But once again observing the Israelites is like looking at ourselves in a mirror.

What keeps you from experiencing God?

  • Fear of being convicted of sinful choices
  • God is at the bottom of your priorities
  • You don’t really believe He hears you
  • “God time” doesn’t fit into your plans
  • It doesn’t seem like God is there
  • God’s always there, I’ll catch Him later
  • Distractions by media (phone, computer, TV, etc)
  • A busy brain, can’t seem to focus (this is me)

We have it so much better than the Israelites.  We have Jesus as our mediator to our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit as our constant connection to Jesus.

Yet, we would prefer to hear our preacher give us a one hour, once-a-week God update and then be on our way to the important things; pleasure and making a living.

What keeps your from experiencing God?

Heavenly Father, forgive us for being like the Israelites. Forgive us for all the missed opportunities.  Holy Spirit, don’t stop calling us, don’t stop reminding us.  Help us to overcome the carefully crafted distractions of our day.  Give us the wisdom to see the tricks of the enemy of our soul to keep us from experiencing God.  Lord, teach us and guide us as we seek to know You more.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

**Our prayers become more powerful when we come together! I would love it if you would post a comment and share your prayer for the day.

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Exodus 22:16-24:18

Where Does God Speak to You?–Genesis 46:1-4

YouTube Preview Image

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Genesis 45:16-47:27

Does God speak to you in church? In the shower?  Through other people?  When you’re praying or reading His Word? When you’re enjoying the beauty of His creation?  In a dream? In the car?

God spoke to Jacob when he traveled…

For most of my working life I have been a road warrior.  Whether is was driving around my three-county area making Mary Kay deliveries or leaving town on Mondays and returning on Fridays teaching bankers how to sell; I’ve spent a lot of time in my car.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been driving down the road AND trying to write down something God placed in my mind.  I have been “off the road” for a couple of years and I really miss my time with God in the car.

With all of Jacob’s wives and drama, plus his responsibilities as a businessman, I’m sure he didn’t have much quiet time.  I know that was true in my case.

I guess the only time God could get me and my friend Jacob’s attention was when we were away from the daily routine.

It would be so much better it we could hear from God everyday.  I know, God didn’t speak that often in Old Testament times, but that’s not the case today.  Thanks to Jesus’ death, resurrection, and return to heaven, He is now our constant intercessor, talking to the Father about our prayers and the Holy Spirit is our 24/7 direct line to Jesus.

Would you like to hear from God more often?  How bad do you want it?

Enough to stop and listen?

David Jeremiah writes in his book, “Prayer, the Great Adventure”:  Unless I’m badly mistaken, one of the main reasons so many of God’s children don’t have a significant prayer life is not so much that we don’t want to, but that we don’t plan to.  If you want to take a four-week vacation, you don’t just get up one summer morning and say, “Hey, let’s go today!”

Isn’t that how most of us treat our prayer life; we’re waiting to be “inspired” to pray?

I wonder if Jacob spent time each day talking and listening to God, asking for direction and guidance for the day?

Or… did he do like I’ve done for most of my life.  “Good Morning God, this is what I’m doing and where I’m going, please bless it!”

Satan, the enemy of our soul has sold us a lie, “The busier we are, the less time have to give to God.”

  • God doesn’t need our time, we are the ones who need His time.
  • The busier and crazier our lives get the more we need His discernment, guidance, and peace.

Martin Luther said it best:

“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Friends, it doesn’t make a difference where we pray, the important thing is to make time daily to be with God.  Let’s commit to one another that we won’t wait until we “find the time” to pray or until we get away from it all like Jacob.  Let’s make 2011 the year that we planned to pray!

Heavenly Father, forgive us for taking You for granted.  Help us to realize our need to spend time with You each day.  Please don’t stop speaking to us! Holy Spirit, teach us to make time to seek You!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

**Our prayers become more powerful when we come together! I would love it if you would post a comment and share your prayer for the day.

Click here to visit blog

©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Genesis 47:28-50:26

My name is Dianne Guthmuller and I’m a Procrastinator

  Okay, there, I said it!  This is tough for me to admit, because I have  taught lots of classes and workshops on how to overcome procrastination.  When I graduated from Southeastern University in 2008, with a degree in Church Leadership, Mark Rutland the President of the University charged us ( ME ) to “preach the Word of God”.  The magnitude of that statement brought me to tears that day.  God spoke loudly a year ago that I was to retire from my job as a Performance Consulting Manager and wait for His next step. I’m getting to do some teaching at my church, but one of the ways I feel I am to “preach the Word” is through this blog.  This past week I came to the realization that I was waiting for the perfect feeling to hit me at the perfect time to write the perfect post. 

Check out the most common reasons why people procrastinate:

1.  They really dislike the particular task

2.  They don’t know how to do it

3.  They’re waiting until they have time to do it “perfectly”

4. They lack self-confidence

5.  They’re waiting to be inspired

Yep, I’m busted, # 3 and #5…that’s me–I’m a procrastinator!

Okay, the first step in overcoming any problem is to admit it, so now what do I do?  I decided to look to the Apostle Paul for advice.  He definitely knew how to “preach the Word”.  As I read this passage it felt like he was speaking just to me.  Check out Philippians 3:12-16 in “The Message”. 

12 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.
13 Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.
14 I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet!
16 Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

I am continually amazed at how relevant the Bible is for today’s world.  Two words come to mind: Filter and Focus.  Am I the only person that wants to do a 100 things?  Verse 13 in the NIV  reads “this ONE thing I do.”  If we can boil our purpose down to one thing it will be much easier to filter out the distractions and focus on our goal.

Someone asked celebrated author and speaker Chuck Swindoll how he found the time to write so many books with all of his responsibilities as a Pastor?  Rev. Swindoll responded, “I just write an hour a day, everyday”.

Write an hour a day…Now that sounds like a plan!  As Paul said in verse 16, “now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it!”

What tasks do you  procrastinate on and why?

Confession is good for the soul!  I sure feel better!

                                                                                                                                                                   

 

Passion Sells…

 

Have you ever heard the saying, “Passions sells!”  I have not only heard it, I’ve lived it.  I’ve been in sales my whole life.  My first sales job was selling watermelons on the side of the road as a teenager; my most exciting sales job was being a Mary Kay Sales Director and winning a Pink Cadiallac and my  last sales job at this writing was teaching bankers how to sell all across the Southeast.  In all those years I have learned that when you are passionate and believe in your product it’s easy to sell it.  Many of us sell things every day we don’t make a dime on–a great restaurant, an unbelievable shoe sale, or a place that gives bad service (we sell our friends on NOT doing business with them).

I’ve seen a whole lot of sellin’ going on recently.  I call it “Twilight mania.”The Twilight Saga Collection by Stephenie Meyer– I have not read the books but I’ve seen many of my family and friends “selling” these books to everyone they come in contact with.  This is not a post to criticize the books, the author, or anyone who has read them.  But what is really on my mind is the fact that Christians have a life-changing book at our finger tips that is  a tool that the God of the universe gave us to know Him and communicate with Him and we never talk about it, rarely open it and certainly aren’t passionate about it.    

6a00c225264d78549d00e398b9a0150004-500pi2

The book I’m talking about; the Bible is God’s letter to humanity collected into 66 books written by 40 divinely inspired writers.   As a Christian is just makes me so sad to see how screwed up our (Christians) priorities are.  No wonder people call us hypocrites; we say God is first in our lives and then we spend more of our passion and time reading and discussing some vampire book than we do the only book that can connect us with the one true God.

Many people are in desperate situations–marriage problems, financial crises, flu pandemics and all we are offering them is fantasy, a temporary escape?  Let’s wake up realize the amazing miracle we have in our hands and share it with passion everywhere we go.

If this post sparks any interest in becoming passionate about the Bible, I would highly recommend “The New Believer’s Bible.  It is the most user-friendly Bible I have ever read!  Check it out!  It will change your life!!!!!

NLT New Believers Bible: Paperback -  

Preparation…

Have you ever thought about how much of your life is in preparation for something else?  Just think of your work day; how much time does it take to prepare for a 1 hour presentation?  Or, how about the time it takes to prepare for some project on your to-do list for this coming week-end?  If you were sitting beside me right now in my special, normally quiet room where I spend time with God you would know why I’m thinking about this…

Today is the first day of our “exciting” remodeling  project.  We have been waiting for this day for five years.  We’re finally getting a screened porch so that we can enjoy our backyard without every bug known to man attaching itself to our bodies.  Today has been a preparation day.  Actually, this whole week will probably be about preparation.  Preparation for this remodeling project includes demolition; complete with a jack hammer and a dumpster in the middle of our back yard.  Even though today has been noisy and messy it’s a sign of progress and I’m excited!

This got me thinking about my  life…

Most of my life has been about preparation.  I know I’m a “mature” woman, but don’t go thinking I’m a slow learner.  I’m in good company.  The Bible is loaded with people who spent their whole life preparing for their “moment in time.”  Three that come to mind are David, Esther, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • David was anointed king at the age of 15 (1 Sam 16: 1-13) and did not begin his reign until he was 37 (2 Sam 1:5)
  • Esther completed 12 months of beauty treatments just to meet the king one time (Esther 2:12).
  • Jesus spent 30 years preparing for His 3 1/2 year ministry

I have had my share of  demolition in my life.  There have been many times God allowed life to roll into the yard of my heart with a dumpster and pulled out the jack hammer.  Now I must be honest, I wasn’t excited then like I am about my remodeling project, but now I know it was in preparation for God’s plans and purposes for my life.  If I could go back and wipe away those times I would say an emphatic “no.”  What I’ve learned is just too precious!   I truly believe all my demolition and preparation are for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).  EVERYDAY the Holy Spirit finds ways to use me because of my preparation time. 

I encourage you today to look at your challenges, struggles, and trials as preparation to be used for the Glory of God!

Page 4 of 4«1234
%d bloggers like this:
google53dcbfa4313dec77.html