Don’t Keep Him Waiting!

When I was younger and dating, the “experts” would tell us to always keep our gentleman caller waiting on the first date. (Okay I’m not really that old! I think the term “gentleman caller” went out with “Pride and Prejudice”, but you get the point.)

Aren’t you glad you don’t have to play games with Jesus? There are websites galore with dating advice. But we have the ultimate dating advice, from the very One we are dating. And don’t forget we are really more than His date, we are His Bride, united to Him in faith, and He continually courts us! We will learn everything we need to grow in our love relationship with Him in His Word each day!

So don’t keep Him waiting. Tomorrow, wake up and let Him know you are more than anxious to date Him. Be ready and on time (whatever time you have determined.) I do have friends who prefer to date in the evening due to their schedules. I’m not that disciplined. If I let the morning slip away without meeting the Lord in His Word, I usually fall into bed exhausted without every making time for Him. Over the years, I have found it more doable to set my alarm an hour earlier than staying up an hour later. So your date time should be what you know will best accommodate your needs. You don’t have to do what others do, just do what works best for you and Him!

Here are some things that may help you as you start getting ready:

  • We will begin in Genesis Chapter 1 tomorrow! If you have not done so already, download or print The Three Year Reading Plan. I have included the link to help you… https://theplantingplacewordpressdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/three-year-bible-reading-2016-reading-2016-2018.pdf
  • Choose where you are going for your dates…your spot where you will regularly meet, and perhaps set up the night before. Because I am so very easily distracted I have to intentionally make preparations the night before. I have my Bible, pencils and highlighters, reading plan on a clipboard, devotionals, and headphones ready so when I wake up I’m ready to grab my coffee and start our date! If you listen to Pandora and like piano music, try Paul Cardall.
  • Start with prayer. Invite His presence and let Him know how desperate you are to meet Him. Remember He will never stand you up!
  • Don’t always expect feelings. This is a relationship of faith. And besides that, feelings often lie. So if you don’t “feel” every time, that’s okay. He is still there and He will give you just when and what you and your feelings need!
  • Try journaling…this morning I read an answer to prayer I had completely forgotten I prayed way way back… TEN days ago! Yes even ten short days ago, I had journaled a “perhaps” request, and the Lord answered yesterday! I had forgotten I had even asked Him! Once again, in His faithfulness, He strengthened my faith and reminded me how easily I forget. And the tears of joy fell as I realized how very much He loves me, hears me, and answers me!
  • And finally, don’t be hard on yourself if you miss some days. We fall easily, but He is the One Who sustains us. The enemy, the great deceiver and liar, will come at you with his insults of “who do you think you are to take on such an undertaking?” and of “how unworthy you are”. When his lies come, just agree with him on that one, “yes I am unworthy, yes I know in and of myself I cannot do this, that’s why I am depending on Him and His faithfulness!” One of my favorite verses of all time is found in 2 Timothy 2:13:

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”

I know I am often faithless, but He doesn’t depend on me! He alone is the faithful One, that is Who He is and He will never be anything but! So rest in His faithfulness, not your own. You all are in my prayers.

So, don’t keep Him waiting…and let’s grow together!

Just Two More Days…!

Have you made any resolutions for 2016? Is one to be more consistent in your “daily quiet time”?

New Year! Resolutions!

We make them and break them. So let’s change our perspective of resolving to have “daily quiet time”. I’m anything but quiet, and when reading Song of Solomon (blush) the Lord is pictured as robust in His love towards us. So I started thinking of my time with the Lord, not as quiet time, but a date! Now here’s the thing, the Lord will never stand me up! If I make a date with Him, I am 100% guaranteed He will be there. That’s pretty exciting!

Now what if I called you on the phone and asked if you wanted to get together tomorrow? You, of course, say yes. And I reply, “Great!” and hang up the phone. Problem? Yes! Where? What time? Now, of course, we would never do that to a friend! So make a date with your Best Friend! Tell Him where and when. He will not let you down. And when you are dating Him regularly, get ready for passion!

I don’t remember exactly when it began, but come each December I begin looking for a plan to help me read through the Scriptures. I need help with structure, but I like variety, so over the years I have undertaken a plethora of reading plans. This year I am finishing a two-year plan that also included a Psalm or Proverb every day. I loved it!

Besides the plan, I also ask for a theme for the coming year to assist me in purposefully seeking His work in my life. (Intentional Moments, Tenacious Thanks, Desperate Dependence are a few). Because I am very easily distracted, I find journaling my thoughts and prayers each day from what I read invaluable in reinforcing the theme and keeping me focused.

After you make your date, make a plan. I would like to invite you to join my three-year plan. I so loved the two-year plan, but wanted to go a bit slower and still include a Psalm or Proverb every day. You will find the Three Year Bible Reading Plan @theplantingplacewordpress.org on the Menu. It includes a Daily Reading as well as Psalm or Proverb. This plan has three parts:

Part 1: The Daily Reading

If you only have time to commit to one part, follow the Daily Reading. Our theme for this reading plan is from John 3:30 “He must increase but I must decrease.” In my daily blog we will seek to witness, experience, and extol the Lord magnified. I sense a need to be less concerned with myself, so I am praying as He increases, self will disappear (Okay, that’s asking a lot, but prayerfully self will decrease!).

Part 2: Psalm or Proverb

We need to be honest before the Lord and accept rebuke and correction as needed, as well as His promises of faithful lovingkindness and blessings to those who love Him. Psalms and Proverbs often focus on our needs, circumstances and relationships. This can be a tremendous impetus to pray to the Lord of Hosts!

Part 3: Journal

If journaling sounds daunting to you, here are some ideas that may encourage you. I journal like I talk- I’m all over the place. I don’t try to be rigid, because I would get frustrated and quit. I write what’s on my heart. Some days I start with thanks; some days I’m overwhelmed. Often I recount what happened the day before. I journal answers to prayer. I journal prayers. Just journal! Begin with writing one or two sentences about something you don’t want to forget from your time in the Word.

The year 2014 was the culmination of three of the most trying years of my life. I felt led to read my 2014 journal through the month of December. It was completely astounding! I read about things I had prayed for only a few months before and now they were answered! It strengthened me to keep praying for the answers I’m still waiting for. I could remember how I felt at the time I penned my groanings, but in the midst I sensed His presence and comfort. I was reminded of so many prayers and answers to prayers I had already forgotten! So I am reading 2015’s journal during this month, and it was there the Lord confirmed The Planting Place!

I’m praying for you.

Let’s Get Started and Grow Together!

Three More Days! The Adventure Begins Janaury 1st, 2016!

Join Us at The Planting Place!

Hi! My name is Sande. I am a pastor’s wife, mother, grandmother of one, retired teacher, and child of God. My life is completely blessed and utterly challenging. Life is so very good and likewise difficult. I’ll bet you can say the same!

I live in and enjoy God’s creation, but it’s fallen, marred by sin. I am flawed and very often feel like a failure, weighed down by disappointments and unmet expectations. And I can find myself drowning in dissatisfaction and disillusionments.

That is why I’m desperate! Desperate for my mind to be transformed, for my eyes to see truth, and for my emotions to dwell on whatever is excellent and praiseworthy! And that is why I am desperate for God’s Word. In His Word I am privileged to see Him as He is, and me as I am in Him. And when I see truth, I begin to see clearly.

Maybe because of the way I was raised; maybe because I was almost 29 years old before I met Jesus; maybe because I have so many ingrained habits; or maybe because I am such a painfully slow and forgetful learner; whatever the reason, God has given me a passion for His Word, a plan for our time together, and purpose in recording our encounters. And now He is leading me to share with you. My prayer is that you will be encouraged in your commitment to meet with the Lord daily. The rewards are indescribable!

Over the two dozen years as a pastor’s wife I have met so many beautiful women who love the Lord and desire to grow in Him, but often struggle to make themselves available, or find it difficult to come up with a working plan. If this describes you, then my prayer is this site will support your decision to date your Savior. Please come back tomorrow to learn about the 2016 plan! You can also read more on the “Let’s Get Started” page @ theplantingplacewordpress.org

Let’s Grow Together!

2016 Is Almost Here!

A New Year! Is this the year you are determined to have consistency in your daily time with the Lord?

I hope so! Perhaps you are apprehensive that it may prove too challenging. Or perhaps you’ve tried before and… Well, it’s a new year! This can be the year you start and finish strong! If you would like support and encouragement along the way, you are invited to join us at the Planting Place. Please take a moment to keep reading and learn a little bit more…

About the Planting Place:

The heart and goal of The Planting Place is to encourage commitment to meet with the Lord daily, via planned, purposeful Bible reading, journaling, and surrender to His spiritual cultivation.

The inspiration for The Planting Place came from Ezekiel 34:25-31 [NASB]

25 “I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing. And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing. 27 Also the tree of the field will yield its fruit and the earth will yield its increase, and they will be secure on their land. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be a prey to the nations, and the beasts of the earth will not devour them; but they will live securely, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will establish for them a renowned planting place, and they will not again be victims of famine in the land, and they will not endure the insults of the nations anymore. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people,” declares the Lord God. 31 “As for you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God,” declares the Lord God.

In this passage we see God’s heart for His people: that they would live securely, that they would be a blessing, that they would yield fruit, that they would know He is the LORD, that they would live unafraid, that they would be established as renowned, that they would know the LORD their God is with them, and that they would know they are His and He is their God! And while this was written to the nation Israel, believers can certainly draw many applications for their life in Christ!

God desires so much more for us than we can even ask or think [Ephesians 3:30], and the best way to take hold of all He has for us is to take root in Him by taking hold of the Truth.

This is the goal of The Planting Place…to offer support and encouragement as we cultivate our trust in the Master Gardener to do what only He can do,

16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. [Ephesians 3:17-19]

The truth is God wants us to know Him, to know His love, and to be firmly planted in these truths. This is the purpose of The Planting Place: That through His Word and by His Holy Spirit, the Lord would grow us to know Him and His love so that we are filled up and strengthened to love and obey Him, that He might be glorified in His renowned planting place!

Visit The Planting Place @ theplantingplacewordpress.org

Let’s Grow Together!

 

Are You Getting Ready?

I’ll be married 33 years this May, and my husband and I enjoy just being together; often I am in my sweats or jammies, no makeup, hair disheveled. And that’s okay; he loves me. But I still like to date my hubby. And when we make a date, I think and plan what I will wear. I take time to put on my makeup and do my hair. I definitely don’t head out the door in my sweats! I love getting ready for him…and I’m quite sure he likes it too!

When I think about time with the Lord as date time, it encourages me to plan and get ready. I want the Lord to know that our time together matters to me and that I put in effort in my preparation to meet Him.

I hope you are looking ahead to a new year and thinking about your dates this year with the King of Kings. What a colossal privilege to be invited into His presence!

Each of us will have our own unique ways to get ready. Think about what will help you foster intimacy with Him. Plan what you will intentionally do to get ready for your 2016 date times.

I shared how I love music to help set the mood. Last year I invested in a good set of headphones to block out the noise as part of my getting ready. I also love to buy new journals for the year. About five years ago I started choosing a color for my journal, pencils and pens. Each year I use that year’s chosen colored pencil to highlight in my Bible. I love seeing the colors in my Bible; like a sweet love song on the radio, it reminds me of the precious moments we’ve spent together over the years.

Pray and ask the Lord to inspire your preparation. I know He will be delighted to help you get ready!

Let’s Grow Together!

The Countdown Begins!

Just SIX more days until the New Year! I am so looking forward to beginning the Three Year Bible Reading Plan. I hope you will join me! I wanted to share some ideas as you are getting ready for your daily dates with the Lord.

I love music! Music has always been an important part of our relating to the Lord; read the Psalms. Every one is a song! I listen to instrumental music during my date time. It quiets my mind and sets the mood. And because it is solely instrumental, there are no words conflicting with what the Lord desires to Personally speak to me each day through His Holy Scriptures.

I also start my date time by reading a few devotionals. These are not meant to substitute for time in the Word to hear Him speak, but rather for heart preparation. Much like our time of praise and worship readies our hearts to receive the Word from the pulpit each week, devotionals equip my heart to begin thinking on the things of God and God Himself. With a smartphone you can download devotionals as apps, and some are free! Two of my favorite free apps are “Spurgeon Morning and Evening” and “Streams in the Desert – Daily Devotional”.

I am praying for you as the New Year approaches. May this year, 2016, be a memorable and fruitful year!

Let’s Grow Together!