Monday, March 30, 2009

March Kettle Club

The Kettle Club is a monthly club that's sponsored by Exemplify Online. It was started for bloggers who often feel pressured to come up with ideas and inspiration to keep on blogging. Sometimes, it can become such a huge focus in our lives and ...that's not always good.

The Kettle Club encourages us to spend at least 5-10 minutes or more in prayer and Bible reading ...before getting engaged online with blogging.

I think that's a great idea. Sometimes, I wake up and can't wait to check Heart Choices for any new comments. Then I want to see who has written a new post that I can read. Time can easily get away before I realize I need my quiet time. So, making a commitment to have my quiet time first is a good thing for me.

Each month the Kettle Club posts devotional questions for us to answer and offers encouragement and accountability. I get to link up with other bloggers and we're able to learn from each other. I've made a commitment to be a life long learner so this is another way to accomplish this goal. After all, Heart Choices involves body, mind and spirit.

Here are the discussion questions for March:
  1. What are some practical ways you maintain a consistent "in the Word" time?
  2. Do you have a certain morning system that accompanies your quiet time? If so, share it with us! A special place in your home you go to read? A special devotional or Bible you use? Do you journal, drink tea, pray out loud or have a picture board of those you are praying for?
  3. In what ways have you been applying what you are learning in your devotional time into your day?
  4. If you are working on memorizing Scripture, can you offer a few tips that help you for our other Kettle Members?
  5. Share a standout lesson you’ve learned this month and why it has made such an impact on you.
I absolutely need my morning quiet time!

For the past 15 years, it's been a consistent time for me. Very rarely do I miss and I don't say that with any degree of pride. You see, for me it's become a necessity.

Some days I have more time than others. But what I've found is that the more time I spend with the Lord ...the more I desire to spend with Him.

I have my Bible, devotional, journal and pen all ready to go in the morning. When I first started doing this, I would sit at my kitchen table. But now I have my own office in our home so it's quite comfortable. I have the coffee ready to go because I need it first thing in the morning. I don't have to use an alarm clock because I naturally wake up early. It helps that this has become my routine.

I've also discovered a wonderful Bible teacher named Scott Samter. His messages are downloaded and available on his blog called Opening His Word Together. I found him through his wife's blog called Forever 'n Ever 'n Always. I've been studying the book of Hebrews verse by verse.

The main lessons I've been learning is about walking by faith and not by sight. This has been important for me lately because of the challenges I'm currently facing. When my emotions get out of hand and I become anxious, I remember from what I'm learning to ...keep my focus on Jesus.

I'm learning that my physical senses can be deceived. But faith reaches beyond the physical and takes hold of the unseen. The physical world can be the great temptation to forget God. These have been important lessons for me.

I've also memorized verses that help me to deal with fear. I written them out on cards and have them posted in front of me as I work on the computer. For example:

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

All I have to do is look down and that verse is right before me to remind me that God will strengthen me and help me. I believe that by faith.

I would encourage you to check out the Kettle Club. While you're there, you might also subscribe to Exemplify Magazine. It's a free monthly online Christian publication that offers Bible studies, devotionals, and lots of encouragement.

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Kristen @ {dancing} in the margins said...

I'm so glad you joined us. I loved seeing your spot for your quiet time!

What a lesson -- to keep our eyes and focus fixed on Jesus. Don't we all need to learn that? (More often than not, a couple of time!) I know I do.

You have a beautiful blog. And as the editor/founder of Exemplify Magazine I am delighted to see our magazine is ministering to you! That right there made my day.


Amy said...

Hi Debbie! I soooo agree! It's all about keeping our eyes on Jesus.. taking on His perspective and heart.

Loved reading your post!!

Hugs.. Amy

ServinGsus said...

I'm so glad you stopped by! I love the 5:16 club for the motivation and encouragement it provides. I've been a "lurker" because I wasn't consistent enough to call myself a member, but I'm making a public declaration and saying I am going to continue to be constant in this pledge. I so admire you for doing it for 15 years!

I love Exemplify, Like A Warm Cup of Coffee, Under Grace and Over Coffee, and Titus 2 ... I check in with each of them throughout the week and am finding that nurturing that I miss from our days in Maine. Hope to "see" you again =)

Grammy said...

I enjoyed you post today. And What I always have around is. There is nothing to fear but bear it's self. Franklin D Roosevelt. And it is so true. I had worried more about what was to come. And when it happened it was not as bad as the worries. And it passed even faster. So I no longer worry. It is awesome to be free of this torment. I have worked for a year learning to be happy and it was not hard It started with reading positive energy books by Norman V Peal. and William Bukas. They had scripture in there words too. It then look for all the good and do not let bad hurt me. It is nice to meet you too.

Meg Wolff said...

Hi Debbie,

I'm heading off to Orlando, but wanted to visit first.

What a great idea to spend time in prayer or meditation before getting online. I used to spend every morning doing this until I started blogging. Then I couldn't wait to turn on the computer. This is a great suggestion to get some balance.

Your office sanctuary looks inviting.

Letters From Midlife said...

I have to do my "quiet time" with the Lord first thing, before turning on the computer, because otherwise I tend to spend too much time online then feel rushed with the rest of the things I need to get done. When that happens, the quiet time never gets done.

LisaShaw said...

Debbie, wonderful message!

I so agree. It's easy to get caught in life whether it be blogging or a bunch of other things but we must be careful to PUT AND KEEP JESUS FIRST.

Thank you for sharing with us this wonderful reminder.

Amydeanne said...

i'm like you, sometimes my time gets away if I don't focus it directly!

What a lovely blog you have! :)

JottinMama said...

I just love your heart for the Lord and digging deep into The Word.

I happen to be a girl who deals with a lot of fear and that verse from Isaiah is such a precious one for me.

Have a lovely day!

Kate :)

Sit A Spell said...

What a great post...I'll have to check into this. I agree, we need to keep our time with Him first. I am not a morning person, so many days I end in the Word. However, I pray through out the day and I do play my XM Message daily...does that count???

Patricia said...

Hebrews is a great book. I have checked out the sight you recommended and will be trying to follow through with the study in Hebrews too. Thank you for sharing.

Debra said...


I had not heard of the Kettle Club before, but I wholeheartedly agree with it's message. Time in God's Word before anything else. I'm just not the same if I don't have that time with my Lord...and it shows.

I have fallen into the trap of feeling the pull of the computer and needing to come up with something to write and not having enough time ... but thankfully, I have a wonderful Lord who sends His Holy Spirit to convict me of those times and pulls me back and reminds me of what is truly important.

Loved this post, my friend. Big hugs to you!

Guo Guo said...
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