Sunday, May 27, 2018

Quiet Time

"You are my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me."
Psalm 119:114

Recently I've been opening up more about my personal devotions, my daily quiet time. For the last year and a half I've kept it very personal as I've slowly, finally figured out what works for me. Ya'll, it is so important to find the style that works for you. I spent years reading and re reading the Bible. Sure I got some things out of it but I was reading it for the sake of reading it. I wasn't hiding it in my heart, I wasn't letting the words sink into my soul to renew me. I read my five chapters and closed it for tomorrow, marking off books of the Bible like a to-do list.  For years I battled with spending daily time in the Word but then dropping it for weeks at a time because I couldn't get myself back into the groove. On and off again. 

That all changed at the end of November 2016 when I finally began the journey to find what clicked. I remember feeling down about my quiet time. I'd been taught better on all of my mission trips but it just never clicked. Then one day via Pinterest I found a new quiet time style. What it is, is a short passage ranging from one verse to usually under ten verses. It's usually organized by topical studies  from Rest, Comfort, Joy, Love, and so forth. They usually come in lists of 30ish to last you a month. 
So you take your passage for the day and you write it out, that is where the journal comes in (Some had asked about my quiet time journal, I'll explain it more later). 
I have found that when I write out verses, they tend to stick better. I hear the words better and more deeply than when I solely read it. I doubt I'm the only one guilty of reading the Bible as I'm thinking about my weekend to-do list, am I right? 

At first I just wrote the verses and closed my journal. I kept up with my daily Bible reading, it might not always stick but it's still SO important. This went on for a couple weeks and I realized I still wasn't really getting much out of it other than a cramped hand. That's when I slowed down and thought about the words I was writing. Then once I was done writing that, I wrote out what my thoughts were. What was God speaking to me through this passage? How can I apply this to my life right now?
From that day on it's grown and grown and become this beautiful time I spend in the Word.
After awhile I added prayer journaling to the mix and this year I added scripture memorization. 

We should be always growing, always learning. Never stop expanding your times of quiet with your Lord. 

So why journaling? Can't I just do it all in my head? 
Of course! 

But I've been able to look back over the last year and a half at my journals and physically see my progress. To see where I recorded my battles and my victories, my questions and my answers, my prayer requests and my praises. 



I don't do it every day, probably between 4-7 times a week. Some weeks are good and others it is a struggle. I've had to learn to give myself grace. I used to get so worked up over missing a day, maybe it was because I was afraid to go back to the ruts of the past. Those ruts where I neglected my daily devotions for weeks at a time. But I learned to give myself grace and now I don't go more than two days without doing it. I don't worry about my dates matching up perfectly with the days on the passage lists. I do them when I can. 

So what's my format? That's the fun part, for me anyways!






1) Date and what # day I'm on of which study.

2) I write out my weekly memory verse

3) Now I write out the passage for the day

4) Then I write my thoughts, what did I get from it? What is God speaking to me about this passage?

5) I then write out my prayer. Usually it is about what I just learned but I also pray for lots of other things. I think that is it's own blog post right there.



I always add a prayer requests page then on the back I add the answered prayers page. It's cool to see how God has answered my prayers over the last year. 



I like to keep things organized and bright so I use different color pens for each different section in my journal. 


Now.

Here is the fun part. If you have access to a printer or printing at office max, I print out small pics to put in the front cover of my journal. It's a nice way to keep reminding me of the encouraging things for my season that I'm in. It's always different so the pictures change from each journal. The top picture is of my current journal and the bottom one is of my next journal that I should be starting in the next weekish. ( I find most of these from Pinterest). 




It's just so important to find what works for you. I've grown so much spiritually this last year. The verse at the top of this post is so true.  God is my place of quiet retreat, I go there for Him to renew me. And I so desperately need it and crave it. And He so graciously offers it to me. 

~Beka 

Monday, October 16, 2017

"Closed for Spiritual Maintenance"

You may have seen my post Friday night: 


     In the hustle and bustle of one busy week after another, I'm sure I'm not the only once who grows weary. And by weary I mean emotionally spent and spiritually dry. It's not that I haven't been spending time with God and in His word, because I have been, every day. But I do believe the things of this world can have strong influences on our spiritual well being. Yes, God is bigger and more powerful but when we open our hearts to other things and not be solely focused on God and growing closer to Him, we lose our grasp on our relationship with Him. He doesn't hold us with a tight fist and never let us walk away. He wants us to want Him and so He lets us choose and most of the time we don't choose Him. 
     Over the last couple weeks I'd spent more time in worldly entertainment (such as tv shows on Netflix) instead of pouring into God. I told myself that I was tired and needed a break from reality plus the show I was watching was just so funny. But the constant in and out of relationships of the characters left my expectations where they shouldn't be. I lost my contentment and peace. It left me sad and dry. A place that God doesn't want me to be in. He wants me to find my joy in Him and find my purpose and peace in Him, not the flamboyant lifestyles of fictional characters in a TV show. But that's our culture, isn't it? They throw all this garbage in our faces making us think that the only way to be happy is to be throwing yourself at whatever whim you want to on a daily basis.  That couldn't be farther from the truth. 
     God has good plans for us. Better plans than anything we could ever come up with. And it can be hard to hold onto that hope that God will work it all out if we but believe and trust Him. But it is going to be so worth it when we do! There will always be valleys that we will face and we can either let the weight of the world hold us down until we are sinking or we can cling to Christ, the greatest hope of all. He loves us as only the best Father can. He wants to take care of us. But we have to trust Him to do so.

     I wasn't really planning on going into all that. I really wanted to just focus on what I learned about myself in my 48hour phone/social media fast. It was a relaxing weekend (with a couple stressful moments lol). Saturday was a great day. I got everything on my To-Do list done! Which rarely happens because half my day is spent on social media. Just being honest.
     I also realized that I am a very impatient person but I never really realized that until I took away the very thing that gives me access to immediate contact and information. So many times I wanted to take a pic of what I was doing and snap it to a friend. Or text my mom telling her about something I got in the mail. I did relent and turn my phone on so I could take some pictures of my cats.
     It was very refreshing to not feel attached to my phone. I was able to stay 100% fully engaged with my family when I visited them on Sunday or my friend on Saturday night. 

     So how will this change my way of life as I continue forward? Well, I'm keeping my notifications off for Facebook and Instagram. I'm less likely to get sucked into scrolling when there is no reason to open it. I might do these fasts more often as now I don't feel so glued to my phone. 

     Overall, it was a great refreshing weekend. I got things done. I rested. I spent time with God. He refreshed my soul and I'm able to move forward in this new week back where I should be- content and at peace in Him. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Waiting Well




"I am the good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-"
- John 10:14


I feel like when it comes to the theme and lesson of waiting, I am on a never ending round-about, continually going in a circle : learning, forgetting, remembering, forgetting and so forth.  Maybe it isn't so much forgetting as it is losing sight of the truth of what it really means to wait.


I feel like I am in a constant state of waiting. I'm waiting for funds to come in for my summer mission trip, I'm waiting for my life to keep going forward in new directions, I'm waiting for friends to return to Jesus, I'm waiting for my future husband and the life we will share together, waiting and waiting and waiting...waiting for the waiting to end.

Some days I don't wait very well.

Some days I'm tired of waiting and I sink into despair and self pity. A place that as a child of God I have no place being in. Because in that place my eyes are not on my ever loving Father. My trust is not in Him.

Our Father is the good shepherd. He knows us best - better than we or anyone else knows us. He knows our hurts and our deepest longings. Our cries do not fall on deaf ears. He is listening. But His timing is not our timing and it's hard when you are impatiently waiting.

His timing can be so hard. So very very hard. But we can't give up because it's worth the wait. God is worth the wait. God is worthy of our waiting...of our waiting well.

Waiting well...

What does that look like? It's more than having patience. Patience isn't something you just magically get one day. Patience is a process...a process of waiting well.


Psalm 27:14
Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD.



So what does waiting well look like?


Psalm 37:5
Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.


My study Bible's footnote says "Commit your way to the LORD- Literally roll your way upon the LORD.
Roll your way upon the LORD? What in the world does that mean?
Mathew Henry's Commentary had this to say about this verse :

"Commit thy way unto the LORD, roll thy way upon the Lord, so the margin reads. Cast thy burden of thy care. We must roll it off ourselves, not afflict and perplex ourselves with thoughts about future events, but refer them to God. By prayer spread thy case and all thy cares before the Lord, and trust in Him. We must do our duty, and then leave the event with God. The promise is very sweet, He shall bring that to pass, whatever it is which thou has committed to Him."


- I think waiting well is not worrying about things. It's placing the stresses of this life and the things that consume our thoughts at the foot of the cross, leaving them with Jesus to handle.

- Waiting well is living in the moment, not in the future. It's pursuing God with what you have already been given instead of waiting for more.


Luke 16:10
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little  will also be dishonest with much.


- Waiting well is spending time in the Word, in prayer and in worship. It's growing closer to your Father who will reveal those things that you seek in His perfect timing.

You can't expect your life to change if you don't spend time with the one who created your life.


So whatever you are waiting for whether it's a new job, more stable finances, a new direction, a new relationship, etc, continue to pursue the Father.


Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.


Because He truly is a good, good Father, the good shepherd who was willing to lay down His life for the sheep, for us. He is not only worth the wait, but worthy of our waiting.

Honor Him today by waiting well.



Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.






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Questions, comments, prayer requests, feel free to reach out to me!

~Beka

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A new year brings new adventures!




Hey everyone! So I know I've been teasing with the information about my text trip so without further delay, here it is!

Next summer I have the incredible opportunity to be the nanny for a precious baby, Ezekiel or 'Zeke'. I had the privilege to serve with his parents, Jack and Kelsie, in Scotland 2015.

When they asked me if I would be interested in being their nanny next summer, I could barely hold in my excitement. Throughout my years serving with Reign, I’ve met and interacted with several nannies and I’ve always had the desire to serve in that role. I love foreign missions and I love babies. Being a nanny on a royal servants summer trip is combining two of my greatest passions. After taking time to pray and seek God, I came to the conclusion that this is what He is calling me to next.

    June 5 will begin my summer with about three weeks spent at training camp and the rest of the summer will be spent overseas. As Jack and Kelsie will be serving as staff on a trip, they won’t find out which team they are assigned to until the spring. Royal Servants goes all over the world and we could be assigned to any one of them.

But no matter where we go, my mission remains the same. As the team begins ministry overseas, I’ll watch from behind the scenes. I get to be the hands and feet of Jesus in such a unique way this summer as I watch Zeke. This frees up Jack and Kelsie to lead the team well and effectively on those ministry days without having to worry about Zeke. I’ll be there to help with travel, meals, baths, naps and anything else Zeke throws our way. And let’s not forget all the playing and snuggling Zeke will need this summer as he continues to grow and learn and experience this world for the first time.

Below is a little blurb from Zeke’s parents on my role this summer:

"This will be our first summer traveling with a child. Ezekiel will be 9-11 months old while we are at Training Camp and overseas. As we began to contemplate who might best aid us in caring for our child, Beka immediately came to mind. Her devotion to Christ, her love of young children, and her commitment to discipleship made her an obvious choice for us. We have many responsibilities throughout the summer and will not be able to give Zeke the full attention he deserves but to have someone solid like Beka step in and help love him is crucial to our family and our ministry. My wife, Kelsie, and I had the privilege to serve with Beka in Scotland two summers ago. She was one of our small group leaders and her love for and commitment to her four high school girls was unmatched. We are thrilled she has agreed to serve this summer as our son's nanny. We heartily encourage you to invest in Beka this coming year, both in prayer and financially, that she might be fully funded and spiritually equipped for her ministry to our son."

    Because we don’t know what specific team we’ll be on, the cost of the trip varies. I’ll be needing around $4,000 for this trip. I intend to contribute as much as I can personally earn, however I can’t do it alone. I am seeking financial supporters who will come alongside and enable me to serve God on this trip. Therefore, I am praying for a team of 40 people who will support me with a special gift of $100. I understand that not everyone is able to make that kind of commitment, but any gift amount whether it is $5 or $50 is greatly appreciated. I also need people who will agree to be my prayer partners during the summer. Your prayer is a crucial contribution to this ministry.

Would you prayerfully consider partnering with me by being a prayer and/or financial supporter?  Please, don’t hesitate to send me any questions you may have.
   
zeke.jpg
   
I am so excited to spend the summer with this adorable little guy!



Thank you!
How to give:

Send A Check By Mail (all checks are electronically deposited) Online At  

Make your check payable to Reign Ministries. Indicate the purpose of your gift. You may write your purpose for the gift in the memo or provide other instructions on a separate sheet.
If you are sponsoring a missionary staff member or student and you know their fund number (Kopenski, Beka (P007656) , please include it. It will ensure proper processing. We will promptly return a receipt for your gift stating how your gift was processed.
Mail your contributions to:
Reign Ministries
5401 West Broadway Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55428

Online At:   https://reignministries.org/make-a-gift/

  1. Choose the box that says Royal Servants
  2. When filling out information, scroll down and be sure to find my name, Kopenski, Beka.











Saturday, December 10, 2016

Verses to live by!

Joshua 1:3
"I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses."

As I was doing my daily scripture writing and devotions, this verse was on a list I found of important verses we should all memorize. So when I first read it, I was mad because it seemed to be taken out of context. I can't just take this verse and plant it in my life and say, "Well there ya go, God will give me success in all I do because Joshua 1:3 says so.."
No.

But as I thought more about it and read the surrounding verses (always important to read the whole story and not just one or two verses) I was shown how applicable this verse is to life. Not just my life and the path I'm on but for us all.

God was leading the Israelites to the promised land. This was at the end of their wanderings. Moses had just died and I'm willing to bet the people felt hopeless and defeated. Their great leader was gone. In this verse, God was speaking to Joshua and reminding Him of the promise He made to Moses. God was going to provide for what and where He was calling them to.

Vs. 7 says "Be strong and courageous...Be careful to obey all the law. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go."

What verses to live by!

God is calling us all to something, whether its a job, relationship(romantic or not), a mission trip, a way to live, ministry, etc. Whatever God is calling us to, He will provide. He's promised that. But only if we are faithful in return. I was never going to get all the funding for any one of my mission trips if after I heard the call of God I just sat at home on the couch and watched tv or looked at my phone for months on end and expected that come summer time the money would be there for me to go. No. I had to work for it. I had to prepare and plan. I had to write letter after letter and stuff envelopes and send emails. I had to work for it. I had to be faithful on my end. And in return, God showed up and provided in miraculous ways.

God our Father desires to bless us. But only when we are living for Him day by day. A parent isn't going to reward a child with bad behavior with gifts. No. A parent wants to reward a child for doing good.


We are God's children.

Don't forget that.





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Friday, December 9, 2016

Cry Out


Psalm 72: 12
For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help."


Tonight I am reminded just how faithful our God is. How deep and how wide and how high His love for me is. It's something I think He is always reminding me of.

  I've been trying a new personal devotion style. I found a monthly scripture writing "challenge" for December. Every day there is a new passage of scripture and I re write it. But that's all I have been doing...until tonight when I decided to add the SOAP study method (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer). What a difference it makes when you apply yourself.

Tonight the verse above stuck out to me. He will deliver the needy who cry out. I haven't been crying out to Him lately. I've been keeping things to myself. I've been silent. I've been pitying myself. Tonight He quietly and gently reminded me that He will deliver me if only I'd cry out to Him. He'd save me from drowning if only I'd reach out for Him. How foolish is it to think He'd answer my prayers if I don't pray them?

I cried out. I brought my needs before my God, my healer and my provider. He didn't answer everything in that moment. But something deep in my soul became still. I knew He was here. It brought me to tears to be shown how faithful He is to me.  He brought hope. He brought peace.

We are all needy and afflicted. In this world we live in, there is always something. We are never without need. Thankfully our God never tires of us. He is always there. He waits patiently for us to realize that need and to cry out. He does not fail to deliver.

Spend time with Jesus. He will meet you where you are at. Don't wait until you are clean enough. He'll clean you. Trust Him.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

He restores my soul!

It's been a dry couple weeks. My normal schedule was thrown out of whack due to family visiting (which I wouldn't trade for the world. It was a great time!) but it was hard for me to keep up with my daily devotions between spending time with family, my crazy job and several road trips. And so, unfortunately, my daily devotions took a back seat. This left me dry and short tempered and impatient. I woke up today so desperate to get out of the desert. I took what little time I had before church and I sought God.

Ya'll, He is SO faithful to us! If we cry out to Him, if we ask Him for more of Him, He is faithful to give us what we so desperately need.

Matthew 7:11 "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" 

Through worship, prayer and reading the word I began to feel that refreshing of the spirit that I needed. By the time I got to church I was ready for more worship. My heart was in the right place.

I started this day dry and lost and although it hasn't ended, I am now full and joyful. He restored and refreshed my soul.

Make time for the spirit's work in your life. We do not have because we do not ask. ASK! Ask God for His spirit! Ask God to fill you and restore you and cleanse you! Seek Him with an earnest heart. He is a good good Father and He loves you so deeply.