Wednesday, August 29, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: Arm Yourself!

 
LIFE LESSON: Arm Yourself!
by Toni Spaulding
 
When Dave and I were first married we attended a small Baptist church in Crestline, Ohio. As a child, I had attended the Crestline Catholic School and church just across the street. A few years earlier, Dave’s dad was the pastor of the Crestline Nazarene church. To say the least, it was an interesting journey that brought us to The Conservative Baptist Church.
 
Our friends had been attending the church for some time. They invited us to a party in their home for young married couples. We decided to go for the fun of it. So we took our children and had a great time with the other young families. We were not attending church anywhere on a regular basis, so we thought we would give it a try. We felt at home and Conservative Baptist became our home church for several years. It was one of the best decisions we have ever made as a couple.
 
One Sunday morning, shortly after we started attending, Pastor Bleck shared the importance of Bible memorization. I will never forget the core of that message: when the troubles of life come crushing in, you may not be able to think clearly, so arm yourself with the Word. I had never given much thought about beginning a memorization plan of the Word until that morning. A few days later I began memorizing God’s Word. I started with a simple verse which I thought I knew, John 3:16. I had a rude awakening! Then, I decided to try and memorize a verse for every letter in the alphabet. It took me a long while to do this. I learn slower than most, but I was finally able to recite a scriptural alphabet.
 
To this day, I have never recited this alphabet out loud. It is my private ammunition when life comes crushing in. Lately, I have really been arming myself with this arsenal of God’s Word. During the past few weeks, I feel like I’ve been in a wine press. You’ve probably had those kinds of days too, when you can’t seem to think straight and the weight of the world seems to be resting on your shoulders. So many things coming at once, it’s hard to decipher which thoughts are from the Lord. That’s when I load my gun and aim for the enemy.
 
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you.”
 
This verse has kept me sane these last few weeks. I have to purposely keep my mind Christ-focused and not problem-focused. Often, when my husband prays before his message he says, “Lord, keep our minds captive during this service.” I find myself praying this prayer often.
 
“Lord, keep my mind captive.”
 
I encourage you to pray this prayer and I challenge you to begin memorizing God’s word. It will never fail to bring you peace and comfort. And when the crushing times of life come your way--which they will-- get out the ammo and shoot for the enemy!
 
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”(2Cor10:4-6NIV)


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Toni has been married to Dave for 43 years and as a pastor's wife for 32 years. They have two married children, Dawn and Jonathon, and four grandchildren.

Toni has been the owner/operator of Curves in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, for the past 12 years. Curves has been an amazing ministry opportunity, allowing her to reach out to women in need. She also serves as Director of Women’s Ministry at Mount Vernon First Church of the Nazarene.

She is a Woven Woman!


 

2 comments:

  1. Thank you Toni! I am constantly thankful for growing up in a church that taught me, as a child, to memorize scripture. Now, as a minister, those words come to mind exactly when I need them. God Speaks!
    If you have children, be sure to plant the word in their hearts while they are young. God's word will reap a harvest of righteousness for a lifetime.
    Hugs & Love to all today,
    Cindy

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  2. Toni, I am great at memorizing scripture, but terrible at memorizing chapter and verse (I learn the words of scripture, but not where it is from). It's true, when we keep the Word on our hearts, it sinks in deep.... down to the bone! God's Truth becomes our truth, and we can face anything life throws at us. Thank you for this wonderful reminder of that. You have such a lovely form of expressive writing.

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