Sunday Scripture 7

sunday-scripture31.jpg  2 Corinthians 6:2  For he says, ” In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”  I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 

Paul is urging, can’t you feel it?  Christ is urging…

We had a great sermon today on baptism.  It was one of those powerful, God’s in the place and smiling, sermons.  There were 4 baptisms today, praise God!  What I wanted to highlight in this is, NOW IS THE TIME, NOW IS THE DAY.  NOW.  When is the time?  NOW!  If you’ve already given your life to Jesus, then recommit NOW to live the new life that Jesus died to give you.  If you haven’t made that commitment yet, NOW IS THE TIME.  Jesus is coming again, do it Now.  Don’t wait, He’s urging.  From this moment on, die to sin and live for Jesus. 

For more Sunday Scripture, check out Amy at P2P.

Christmas Eve

The following is a communion meditation written by my dad, for the Christmas Eve service at his church tonight.  I got the chance to read it on Saturday and it gave me goosebumps.  I just had to share it. 

THE SCENE IS A SPARSE HILL IN ANCIENT JUDEA, NOT FAR FORM JERUSALEM.  NEARBY IS A CAVE.  JESUS WEARS ONE MEAGER GARMENT.  MARY IS WATCHING, WONDERING WHAT IT ALL MEANS.  A MAN IS STANDING BESIDE HER, NOT THE FATHER OF JESUS, BUT THE ONE WHO WILL CARE FOR HER.  BENEATH JESUS ARE BEAMS OF ROUGH WOOD.  ABOVE, THE HEAVENS SPARKLE WITH SUPERNATURAL SPLENDOR.  IN THE CITY SITS HEROD PONDERING JESUS DEATH.  JEWISH LEADERS DISCUSS HIS COMING.  NEARBY ARE OUTCASTS, GIVING THEIR OWN CRUDE TESTIMONY.  SOON RICH MEN ARRIVE WITH GIFTS JUST AS SUITED FOR A BURIAL AS A BIRTH.  ARE WE REMEMBERING A BIRTH OR A DEATH?  A MANGER OR A CROSS.  THE HILL COULD BE A SHEEP STUDDED HILL NEAR BETHLEHEM, OR IT COULD BE THE HILL CALLED GOLGATHA.  THE CAVE COULD BE A STABLE CRUDELY CUT INTO ONE OF BETHLEHEMS HILLS, OR IT COULD BE A BURIAL VAULT RECENTLY CARVED IN A NEARBY CEMETARY.  THE MEAGER GARMENT COULD BE SWADDLING CLOTHES OR A BLOODY, RAGGED LOINCLOTH.  IT IS JESUS OF COURSE, BUT IS HE A NEWBORN BABY OR A DYING MAN?  IT IS MARY, BUT IS SHE SITTING AT A CRADLE COMFORTING HER BABY OR CROUCHING, CRYING, HERSELF IN NEED OF COMFORT?  IS THE MAN JOSEPH THE CARPENTER, OR JOHN, WHO WILL MAKE HER A HOME?  ARE THE ROUGH WOODEN BEAMS BENEATH JESUS A MANGER OR A CROSS?  ARE THEY SEEING THE HEAVENS SPARKLE, OR AN ECLIPSED SUN AND A BLOOD RED MOON?  THE HEROD COULD BE THE GREAT WHO TRIED TO KILL THE BABY, OR HIS SON WHO IN A SENSE SUCCEEDED.  THE OUTCASTS COULD BE SHEPHERDS, KNEELING AT THE MANGER, OR THIEVES HANGING ON EITHER SIDE OF JESUS.  THE RICH MEN COULD BE MAGI WHO OFFER EXPENSIVE GIFTS, OR NICODEMUS AND JOSEPH WHO OFFER ONLY AN EMPTY TOMB.  IT’S AS THOUGH THERE WAS A MIRROR IN THE MANGER, A BIRTH REFLECTING A DEATH.  WE COME TONIGHT TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOUR, WE COME TO CELEBRATE THE LIFE OF JESUS, BUT WE COME TO THIS TIME OF COMMUNION TO REMEMBER THE SACRIFICE THAT HE MADE WHEN HE WENT TO THE CROSS AND WILLINGLY GAVE HIS LIFE, THAT YOU AND I, AND ALL MANKIND COULD BE FORGIVEN AND HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY OF ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN WITH JESUS WHO WAS BORN TO DIE FOR OUR SINS. 

Santa or Not?

There’s a real Santa debate going on, I’m not sure if you’re aware.  Questions are being posed, and in some cases, accusations are being thrown.  I have to admit I’ve never even thought about some of the things being said, and then a few have crossed my mind.  I guess I wanted to mull over them here.  First, I’ll give a brief history, to catch you up to speed. 

I grew up believing that Santa brought me gifts if I was good.  I found out that he even brought me gifts when I wasn’t good!  There was pressure, and the threats too.  (You’d better be good, Santa’s watching you, He sees you when you’re sleeping….)  I’ve even used these myself, I’m sad to say.  Again, it never crossed my mind.  Santa’s a jolly old fellow, isn’t he.  He is magical.  Whimsical.  But is he REAL?  Do you believe?  What were you told?  It all seems like a game, but are we harming our kids?  Lying to them?  Causing them to question if Jesus is real too, or are we lying about Him too? 

I don’t remember when I stopped believing.  Probably some kid at school told me.  It doesn’t stick out in my mind as being earth shattering, or a giant scar on my adolescent mind.  So I think my kids will turn out OK too.  But then there’s a tiny ounce of doubt.  The what if?  Am I, in my fervor to give something a little magical to my kids, scarring them?  Will they ever believe anything I say again? 

My oldest is 11 1/2.  A friend of hers told her a few years ago, and for some crazy reason, when she flat out asked me I lied.  I just think I wasn’t ready for her to be so grown up.  I realize now that I was being irrational and selfish.  I wanted her to believe so her brothers would too.  My oldest son is 9, and he still believes.  I’m surprised that he hasn’t heard at school, but he is naive.  He might have heard something, but mommy and daddy told him the truth about Santa, and he’s real.  In fact, he just told me tonight that we need to go see Santa.  We were planning on that Sunday evening, but now I’m not sure.  I don’t want them to get too caught up in the fantasy, and forget about Jesus.  I try to always point them in that direction.  We do the advent readings, and talk about Jesus’ birth, so the focus is on Him, but Santa is in the limelight too.  A few years ago, I was selfish, and didn’t want Santa taking all the credit, so we left some toys unwrapped and said they were from Santa.  After all, I was the one out at 5am in the freezing cold to get the years hottest toy!  This year, my daughter joined meon Black Friday, in search for the deals.  It was a fun time, and she held up really well.  So far, I don[t think she’s told anyone what they’re getting.  We shared in Santa’s duties.  I have a really good friend who sat out in the freezing rain and snow for over 5 hours outside of Toys R Us last weekend for a Wii.  Now that’s Santa. 

So I question whether or not I’m doing more harm than good.  And then I have a 4 year old who is eager for Santa to come, but concerned than he hasn’t been all that good this year.  Are we teaching him that he has to be perfect in order to receive?  There’s only one perfect one, and He loves us, sin and all.  I want to teach them that unconditional love of Jesus Christ.  That’s what I want to make important right now.  Please leave your thoughts on this matter, and give me some new insight as well. 

Finally

Today was the first day of Christmas vacation.  I’ve been looking forward to this day for a few weeks now, but I spent it moving furniture and shampooing carpets.  We had some new furniture delivered, and I’m sitting in the most comfortable chair right now, I could almost go to sleep.  My house is still in disarray, but this room is peaceful.  I don’t want to leave it. 

I can’t believe Christmas is in 4 days.  I haven’t wrapped any presents yet, so I feel an all nighter on Christmas Eve coming on.  I hate to wrap presents because it seems like such a waste!  Matthew is really excited this year about Santa, and we’ve been reading about the manger in several stories at bedtime.  He has his own nativity set to play with, and I think he is understanding even more.  We’ve been trying to do the Advent readings, but with all of us not home at the same time, it’s been more of a challenge than I’d like. 

I’m tired so signing off for now.

Shopping

Today I spent the majority of my time running around, and I hate to do that.  We first had to go to Target and pick up a few gifts, which turned out to be more than anticipated, so lucky I had a coupon.  I also needed to get some baking items.  I never know what to give to teachers for Christmas, but always feel obligated to.  Last year I made cranberry muffins and granola, so I thought I’d do the same since we have all new teachers.  Brooke has 5, and Zach has 1, then there are 4 teachers and the office manager at dance, and the list goes on.  I thought I’d make loaves of bread this time, so that’s what I’m doing now.  Waiting on four loaves to finish.  I then have 4 more in the fridge, but since I’m falling asleep, I think those can wait until morning.  I have laundry that needs to be done, a bedroom to pick up, floors to mop and vacuum, and furniture to move tomorrow too.  Basically, this post is about nothing, because I’m tired.  Please come back again, and I’ll try to have something good to say!  My timer’s going off now..

“Moore” Monday #4

THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNETH.  HE IS GOD, AND THERE IS NO OTHER. 

WHEN HE STANDS TO HIS FEET, HIS ENEMIES ARE SCATTERED.

 

Lord Jesus, You have revealed to us that one day, You whose name is the Word of God will be dressed in a robe dipped in blood.  The armies of heaven will follow you, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 

Out of Your mouth will come a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.  You will rule them with an iron scepter.  You will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.  On Your robe and on Your thigh You have this name written:  King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:13-16). 
Yes, You are coming soon!  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus!  Untin then, Your grace is with Your people (Rev. 22:20-21). 

This is another installment in my Beth Moore journey..Praying God’s Word Every Day.  Yes, He is coming.  Are you ready?  Do you think we are living in the end times?  Is there something more we have left to do?  I think we are living in the end times, and our job, our goal, is to win people over for Jesus Christ.  Lord, I just pray that You would give me the words to speak, and the wisdom and understanding that only You can provide.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, so that I can move souls to reach out to you.  Amen

Sunday Scripture 6

sunday-scripture3.jpgProverbs 2:11 says “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”  God gives us the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding that we need.  We just have to remember to fully trust in Him. 

For more Sunday Scripture, please visit Amy.

Today I can..

I’m looking for addresses and found this little clipping in an old day planner.  I’d give credit where due, but it says Author Unknown.

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight.  I have responsibilities to fulfill today.  I am important.  My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or… I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more money or… I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or… I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn’t give me when I was growing up or… I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or… I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or… I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or… I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or… I can feel honored because the Lord has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped.  And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.  What today will be like is up to me now.  I get to choose what kind of day I will have.

 

 

 

A question

This morning I hit the snooze button 3 times.  I woke up at 6:29 and was excited to have one more minute.  I quickly shut my eyes to go back to sleep, and then I thought…does one more minute really make a difference?  So I ask that question today.  I decided it didn’t, shut the alarm off and got up groggily. 

Christmas invites

One more example of bad perfectionism. 

I was asked to make 90 invitations to a Christmas open house where my daughter dances.  When asked, I was buttered up with, “I looked at some stores, but thought you could do something nice and crafty.”  OK, no pressure.  For literally 2 days I worked on those things.  It took me awhile, (techie challenged), to copy and paste the text onto a page, and figure out what size, what graphics, etc.  Then I couldn’t print them out on plain paper, so I copied/scanned some Christmas paper that I had laying around.  Then I needed to print those off first.  I ran out of colored ink very quickly.  At one point I said something like “it would have been easier to just go to my friendly UPS store and have them do this for me”, but I didn’t listen.  I finally got them printed, and this was the same day as the crash, so I was stressed anyway.  Once printed, I needed to EMBELLISH.  Don’t you just love that word?  I thought I did better this year, because I didn’t put much emphasis on every invite being different from the others.  I had 5 or 6 different scanned papers, and a big Christmas tree die cut on each one.  I alternated, and half of them had the tree on the front, and the other half had the tree on the inside.  The ones with the trees on the inside had stickers or something on the outside.  Did I say I worked on these mostly all day?  Then I went to get some more printer ink, stickers, glitter glue, rubber stamps…… and came home, put the kids in bed at 9:00, and sat back down to finish.  I did that at 4:46 AM.  Wow, I was tired when I got up at 6:30, after hitting the snooze button 3 times!  I had laid them out for the glue to dry, and decided that the ones without a tree on the front looked too plain.  So 4 hours later, I had them finished again, with even more glitter glue.  Why do I do this to myself?  A simple project turned into a nightmare!  But they were reeeaaallllyyyy  CUTE! 

Perfectionism

I’ve never really thought of myself as a perfectionist, but recently learned that it’s true.  I guess I alway thought it was a good thing, and a perfectionist was organized and put together in all aspect of life.  And some are, just not me.  See, I suffer from perfectionism.  It’s not a good thing.  I can take one small task, and blow it up to Titanic size, then stress over it while making it worse.  One example would be this organizing frenzy I’ve been on.  I got started with Flylady, and absolutely loved it.  She helped me to get my kitchen cleaned out and semi organized, (I say that because I just last weekend went back through the panty, cleaned and labeled shelves.)and has given me some great tips.  That’s also where I’ve self diagnosed myself as a perfectionist.  It’s very hard for me to start a task, because the pre planning is overwhelming.  I need to map it out on paper or in my head until completion, because when I start to work on it, I won’t stop until it’s finished.  No wonder I get overwhelmed!  So I’ve been trying to stick with her program, and develop routines, and only do  a task for 10 to 15 minutes, and for the most part it has worked.  I have slowed down because of all the Christmas things that need done, and also because my to do list just keeps growing, but basically have a routine.  I just think I need to change it a little from what she says.  Flylady has a Monday Home Blessing hour, where she vacuums and does her housework.  You can only do the task for 10 minutes, and then you have to go on to the next.  Well, I can’t vacuum in 10 minutes, nor can I change bed linens on 4 beds in that amount of time.  She also has zone work, which is great.  I’m going to tweak the plan somewhat and develop days specifically for kids rooms, bathrooms, kitchen, LR/FR, and the such, and do those every week.  I’m spending too much time looking for emails from Fly to tell me what to do.  I still want to do her challenges and Zone work, and she’s taught me a bunch.  So, Thanks Fly lady!  I’ll let you know how it goes, but the thought of it is overwhelming right now.  I need to make a list, and rework it, then put it into Excel, and change it 3 or 8 times, then print and laminate and place in my binder.  Perfectionist?  HA!

The Crash

Monday morning started out like any other.  I had 2 kids off to school, and the Schwan’s man was here.  I was standing in the living room waiting for him to bring the food in when I heard a noise and looked out the window to see a car airborne and coming over the hill in front of our house.  In the next instant, I heard a crash, and the Schwan’s man was coming up my sidewalk.  I grabbed the phone and called 911, and saw that some of the construction guys from across the street were running to the car, which ended up in the creek at the edge of our property.  Let me first say the woman was OK, so I can draw the story out for you.  The 911 operator asked me two very strange questions.  Was anyone in the car, and what kind of car is it.  UMMM, I think the car was driving itself….and does it really matter what the make of the vehicle is?  It’s currently in the creek, and all I can tell you is I see a sunroof!!!!   Come on!  I got rid of her and ran to the scene.   I guess the nurse remains, even when you decide to stay at home to be a mommy!  She was actually getting ready to call someone on her cell phone, and only complaining of some soreness from the seat belt and air bag deployment.  The car was precariously perched on the bank of the creek, like she almost jumped it Dukes of Hazzard Style.  If she had done that, she would have ended up in the neighbors house.  Not good.  Anyway, the front bumper and tires were pretty much buried in the mud at the edge of their yard and the creek, then the back of the car just fell down into the creek.  We had police, EMT’s, and 3 Fire Trucks closing off the road to get her out.  They did a wonderful job, in the slick mud, and cut her door off to get her out.  Like I said, she was talking and OK.  Thank GOD!  This woman was so blessed by God, and I hope she knows that.  1- This road is so crazy busy all the time, and for there to be no other cars at the time she crossed the center line and lost control, is a miracle.  2-  She left the road on the north side, and came back up to the pavement, couldn’t get control and came to the south side over our hill.  If she had been 3 more feet over, she would have hit the huge Maple tree.  And it would not have given like the wet mud of the creek did.  3-  If she had jumped the creek, she’d have hit the neighbors stone house.  She had a passenger that day, and it was our heavenly Father.  I pray she realized that.  I know I thanked Him for His hand in it. 

I have pictures of the car after she went to the hospital, and the tracks in the yard, but I’m having trouble getting them into thumbnails again.  So I’m techie challenged…what can I say? 

I’ll work on it.

“Moore” Monday #3

Yes, I know it’s Thursday.  Apparently time has passed me by this week, so I’m playing catch up.  Bear with me.  I’ll explain later, but want to get this done first. 

THE PEACE OF GOD SHOULD NOT BE AN INFREQUENT

SURPRISE BUT THE ONGOING RULE OF OUR LIVES.

Father, since I have been justified through faith, I have peace with You through my Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1). 

How I praise You, my God, that in Christ and through faith in Him I may approach You with freedom and confidence!  (Eph. 3:12).  Help me to understand that the amount of faith I possess will greatly affect the freedom and confidence with which I approach You.

Father, You have written Your Word to those of us who believe in the name of the Son of God so that I may know I have eternal

 life (1 John 5:13).

Help me to know and stop doubting. 

That is from Beth Moores Praying God’s Word Day by Day.

 

Sunday Scripture 5

sunday-scripture3.jpgMy thanks to Amy for starting this.  Each week it has been great, and I really enjoy reading everyone else’s scripture. 

Today I really wanted to do Luke 2, but figure I’ll wait on that one until a little closer to Christmas.  My verse that I chose is John 8:12.

When Jesus spoke to again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. 

Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

We’ve been trying to turn off the lights when we do our advent readings, to help show to the kids that Jesus is the light.  We read by the light of the candle, and it just brings a peace to the room.  Even when the kids are arguing over who gets to blow out the candle, or turn on the lights, there is a peace like no other.  Let Jesus be your light, and bask in the glow of His love.  Peace be with you!

God’s Positive Answers

For all the negative things we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it.

We say-It’s impossible

God says-All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

We say-I’m too tired

God says-I will give you rest (Matthew 11:18-20)

We say-Nobody really loves me

God says-I love you (John 3:16)

We say-I can’t go on

God says-My grace is sufficient(2 Corinthians 12:9, Psalm 91:15)

We say-I can’t figure this out

God says-I will direct your steps(Proverbs 3:5-6)

We say-I can’t do it!

God says-You can do all things (Phillippians 4:13)

We say-I’m not able

God says-I am able (2Corinthians 9:8)

We say-It’s not worth it

God says-It will be worth it (Romans 8:28)

We say-I can’t forgive myself

God says-I forgive you (1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1)

We say-I can’t manage

God says-I will supply all your needs (Phillippians 4:19)

We say-I’m afraid

God says-I’ve not given you a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7)

We say-I’m always worried and frustrated

God says-Cast all your cares on me (1 Peter 5:7)

We say-I don’t have enough faith

God says-I’ve given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

We say-I’m not smart enough

God says-I give you wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30)

We say- I feel so alone

God says-I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

I was dreaming?

I saw my hand and a rope.  I was trying to hold onto the rope, but my hand was at the end.  I could see the rope separating and starting to fray.  I was slipping, and the rope was giving away.  Then another hand envelops mine.  A worn and calloused hand.  A tanned and tattered hand.  A nail scarred hand.  It came from nowhere and covered my hand with a mighty strength, so powerful I could feel it.  Feel the flesh on mine.  And I knew it was going to be OK.  When I can no longer hold on, He, Jesus, is here to help me.  He will carry the load, and let me hang freely while He nourishes my soul with His peace and love.  He will carry me until I regain the strength to hold on and fight for myself again.  Because He loves me so much.  Thank You Lord, for answering my prayers.  Thank You for showing me this, and sending me this security.  I will follow You.  I will praise You in the storm, because You are worth it.  Thank You for grabbing my hand, and teaching me. 

Gotta Pray

Dear Heavenly Father,

 You know what I am struggling with right now.  It feels so overwhelming and incomprehensible to me, but I know You have a plan.  Your plan will work out for me, and I just need to follow it.  Help me to seek you, and be ever present for Brian.  I pray that he will hear Your call for him, and open his heart.  Thank you for your blessings and forgiveness.  Thank you for your Word. 
In Jesus Name,

Amen

Thursday Thanks Tank

Thanks Tank  This is supposed to be a weekly installment, but I seem to be lagging.  I’m making the effort tonight, and that’s big, not because I don’t have anything to be thankful for, but because I am struggling.  Struggling with my own thoughts and emotions.  So that’s why this is good Pam.  I need to focus on the good things.  Here goes…

Today I am thankful for

1. My baby Boo is feeling better tonight, and she had a good day of rest and relaxation.

2.  My Zach got a haircut last night, and he looks so handsome.  He’s been growing it and opposed to getting it cut, but daddy said he should go.  It was one of those things that I chose not to pick a battle over, because I thought he was hansome either way.  But now I can see his eyes better, and he’s the only one with my green eyes!

3.  My Matthew is my Kissaroo.  He loves to hug, cuddle and smooch me, so I’m trying to relish that for the time being.  Because I know it won’t last long. 

4.  The little bit of snow that we had is still beautiful and glistening white today.  It shimmers on the tree branches. 

5.  Fast Food.  My meal plan for this week included a few casseroles, which apparently most of my family dislikes.  After two days of snarled noses, tonight I went on strike and we had fast food. 

6.  God and his healing words spoken at just the right time.

7.  A very nice talk with my parents last night on the phone.  It’s been too long since we’ve seen each other, but I always feel the love and prayers from them.  Even if I was a terrible teen!

8.  Freshly vacuumed floors, and mopped up muddy doggie paw prints from the kitchen.

9.  Bedtime stories.  In December, our stories are about Jesus, and it feels so good to have Matthew talk to me about Joseph.  He remembers something from sunday school, and shared it with me.  It was so touching.  So sweet.

10.  The Advent wreath and readings have been insightful and inspiring.  We even made it through tonight’s without any disruptions. 

So, I made it through, and could have actually gone on farther.  God Bless You.

The Best Gifts

I came across this and thought it was fitting for this particular time of year. 

The Best Gifts to Give

To your friend-Loyalty

To your enemy-forgiveness

To your boss-service

To a child-a good example

To your parents-gratitude and devotion

To your mate-love and faithfulness

To all men and women-charity

To your God-your life

“Moore” Monday #2

SELF-MADE FORTRESSES NOT ONLY KEEP LOVE FROM GOING OUT, THEY KEEP LOVE FROM COMING IN. 

 WE RISK BECOMING CAPTIVES THERE.

Faithful, loving Lord, according to Your Word, two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  (Eccles. 4:9-10, 12)  Help me to form healthy relationships and find support in those who encourage me to get back on my feet and walk with You when I fall.  Between You, me when I’m willing, and a good friend to hold me accountable, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. 
You warn us, “He who separates himself seeks his own desire; He quarrels against all sound wisdom” (Prov. 18:1, NASB).  Help me to be very careful not to isolate myself. 

Another daily devotion from Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word Day by Day.  I can relate to this one in particular because I have someone who tends to shut me out.  I am an emotional person, so I take this personally, when sometimes it isn’t.  That tends to make me shut that person out as well, just so my feelings don’t get hurt.  I then become captive  and isolated, thus separating myself from God and others around me.