Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

As I studied the questions God asks in the Bible in preparation to write God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature (co-authored with my husband, Larry), I came across a fascinating reference to the “vine of Sodom” (Deuteronomy 32:32) God gives as an example of how His people have sinned and why they deserve justice and judgment.

“For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah;
their grapes are grapes of poison;
their clusters are bitter.” (ESV)

Some commentators have varying ideas about the “vine of Sodom” which the Bible refers to only this once. Over the years, many have tried to identify the exact plant God refers to. The most obvious are grapes. Yet researchers have wondered if there is any other kind of what some commentators translate as “apples of Sodom.”

The osher fruit might be a candidate, appearing like a delicious, smooth, soft, yellow apple or orange. But when grabbed or bitten, the fruit disintegrates into a puff of air, a thin rind, and a few fibers. What seemed so fulfilling offers nothing of value.

That’s God’s point. His people are depending upon empty, ineffective, worthless things which become idols. Idol worship deserves judgment because the Israelites are putting their hope into a “puff of air.” The hollow “vine cluster” seems to give a tiny spiritual taste of satisfaction but doesn’t last. God wants His created beings to see Himself as the satisfying God of the universe who only gives good gifts, not disappointing puffs of air.

Kathy Collard Miller is passionate about communicating the hope God offers by revealing His perfect nature throughout the Bible. Kathy is the author of more than 55 books and has spoken in more than 35 US states and 9 foreign countries. www.KathyCollardMiller.com

 

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What we live is first what we think.  So what does God want us to think about that will elevate our mind, soul, spirit and life?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Phil 4:8)

In Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience, we dig a little deeper to see what each word means…

Noble: Honorable, reverent, dignified, gravitas

Discovering Joy in Philippians

Discovering Joy In Philippians

Right: Correct, just in the eyes of God, judicially approved

Pure: Holy, sacred, chaste, prepared for worship

Lovely: Pleasing, agreeable, worthy of affection

Admirable: Good reputation, well report

Excellent: Moral goodness, virtue, upright

Praiseworthy: Commendation, approved, recognized, fitting acknowledgment

What needs to change in your thinking? How can you weave good thinking habits and patterns into your life daily?

 

 

Author Pam Farrel sharing her book, Discovering Joy in Philippians

Author Pam Farrel sharing her book, Discovering Joy in Philippians

Pam Farrel is the author of 50+ books including co-authoring Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience. www.Love-Wise.com

 

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I was going through a difficult time,and was replaying the hurt, pain, and offense over and over.

And God has the ability to get our attention  when we get stuck in life–especially when it is not a healthy place we are stuck in!  In my daily devotions I read Phil 3: 13:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…

Then later that day, after I had recounted the depressive situation once again, a dear friend said to me:

“Life is too short to live looking in the rear view mirror.”

Is anything in your past standing in the way of your future?

 

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of 50+ books, including Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience and 10 Secrets of Living Smart, Savvy and Strong and 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success in Keeping It All Together. — which contains this story and more to help women become unstuck and move forward in life. www.Love-Wise.com

 

 

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that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Phil 3:10

 

This verse has special meaning to me. I met a curly -haired,  tan, fit college student leader  at Campus Crusade for Christ headquarters in the late summer of 1978. His Bible was so used and worn he had to have it rebound in rough tan leather and burned into the front cover was “That I may know Him” I fell in love with Bill Farrel not just for his good looks, but rather, for his God-chasing heart.  Any guy who wants to identify with Christ, not just for His majesty and power but also for his sufferings, is a deep man of faith.

Cultivating habits that allow God’s resurrection power to flow into your life is imperative so that you can stay strong, even in times of suffering . Here are three ways that have helped me find and experience resurrection power:

Partner for Power

Since the day I met that gorgeous guy, I have watched him graciously handle suffering and hardship with a 5-fold P.O.W.E.R process that has become our “Go to” when times get tough:

Pray: God will get us thru this. Let’s pray.

Open up: Let’s both share our needs with each other

Wisdom seek: Let’s find some scripture to hang our heart on to keep our hope, joy and peace.

Endure: Let’s just keep doing the next right thing. Let’s be true to God and God will be true to us.

Reach out: Let’s gather our trusted faith community to pray and believe with us and for us.

Which would help you most right now?

Pam Farrel and her husband, Bill, are relationship specialists, authors of 50+ books, international speakers, and Co-Directors of  Love-Wise.com. They live on a boat docked in Southern California.

 

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Discovering Joy in Philippians

In Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience, we look at verses that show the path to true joy. Having a stable life with a sure foundation does make life more joyful. Let’s take a quick glance at Psalms 15 to see the stepping stones to stability (note the bold faced italicized words):

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
    Who may live on your holy mountain? 

The one whose walk is blameless,
    who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
    who does no wrong to a neighbor,
    and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
    who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.

Which one of the boldfaced stepping stones will bring more stability, thus more serenity to your life in the coming year? Reread Psalms 15 and ask, “Lord, what do I need to change so that I can dwell on Your Holy Hill and not be shaken?” 

Pam Farrel is a author of 50+ books, including the new Discovering Joy in Philippians: A Creative Bible Study Experience (co-authored with Jean E Jones and Karla Dornacher) . www.Love-Wise.com

 

 

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