Christian living

Where’s my Joy

When we allow God to define our identity, what happened in our past isn’t nearly as important as what’s promised in our future.

How can you overcome heartache and despair? 

Your words were found, and I ate them; and your words were to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by your name, the LORD, God of Hosts.

– Jeremiah 15:16

According to today’s verse, joy and delight come from devouring God’s Word. That means more than simply reading the Bible–we need to memorize it and meditate on it.

When you are in stormy seas of life, there comes One who can give you joy and peace. God’s Word is a joy – no matter what you’re going through.

This is hard for some people to do, when you’re going through a rough season, do you run and tell others, do you gossip about someone, do you seek help from a friend? The Bible tells us that we are to turn to the only one that can heal us and truly give us Joy. If we turn to his word and “ate” them as the verse is telling us, then we will receive Joy and the rejoicing of our hearts. All that is hurt, will be healed in your heart through Reading his word.

I pray that when you’re in a hard season, that you will turn to God to find joy!

Dear God,

Please help me draw near to You today and be a blessing to others!

I trust You completely.

Please give me a greater hunger for Your Word.

I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Be still Shirt

Christian living

Preparing for adventure

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

-Psalm 119:18

We underestimate the power made available to us when we spend time with God. Have you ever thought to yourself how powerful our God actually is? Sometimes he really makes me laugh out loud. Like the times when I’m struggling with my husband and nothing I say gets through to him. I like to pray in the midst of a conversation, I used to get really mad and just yell back, or fight back with my words. However that gets us nowhere. Instead, when I’m upset about something i go straight to the Lord, it might be while driving, or cooking, or even doing nothing at all. The other day I couldn’t get anything across to my husband, and when I get mad I just stop talking, I mean like crickets there’s nothing coming out of my mouth now that you made me mad. However, I’m learning that if I pray about whatever it is, my husband and I are able to revisit the conversation and actually talk about it. God has been making me laugh with this very same thing. I prayed the other day about what my husband was doing that made me so upset, and not even 10 minutes later he walks into the kitchen and says the very thing I just prayed about! I know things don’t always happen fast when we pray, but man did God make me laugh when my husband came in and said just that of my prayers.

It’s time to stop feeling guilty and I’ll-equipped and start embracing the incredible privilege of meeting with Jesus every day. Most days before I start my time with the Lord, I pray a very simple prayer, that puts my heart into the right place with God.

God, I want to see you. God, I want to hear you. God, I want to know you. So that I can follow hard after you.

This prayer is not a magic formula, just four short sentences that perfectly express my desire to experience God throughout my day.

I want to see him working in me, around me, and through me. 

I want to hear his voice so clearly that I won’t doubt when he ask for my obedience.

I want to know him- not just facts about him- but really know him personally and intimately.

I want to follow hard after him, to be the woman he wants me to be in every circumstance of my day.

I don’t want to just read and pray to check it off my to-do list. In Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” A request God delights in answering.

Christian living

Fullness comes when we remember to be with him before going out to serve him

He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons

-Mark 3:14-15

I was doing a lot, pouring myself out for God, but not really spending time getting filled by God. Maybe you can relate?

We run around trying to do everything, and please everyone.  We say yes to volunteering and baking something for the kids school party, taking the kids to multiply after school sports or events. We fill our plates completely full. However were missing out on what God want’s for us, he wants us to slow down enough to receive from him. I don’t know about you, but I’m always praying for God to help me, help me with all of my daily task. I have a hard time saying no, and then end up overworked in the end. I love to serve, however I’m missing out on being served and left feeling empty. He really does have it all worked out. The gaps filled. The needs met. The questions answered. The problems solved.  And the parts he’s purposed for us? They’re all perfectly portioned out in assignments meant for us today. No more. No less. All he ask is that we personally receive from him BEFORE setting out to work for him. This is HUGE and I don’t want you to miss this. In doing so we are encouraged by his presence. This is the daily sacred exchange where ministry turns into pure delight. 

He is capable! We say we trust him but act like everything depends on us. We give all we have to the task at hand with only occasional leftovers of time slightly acknowledge him. It must break his heart when we work like we don’t believe he’s there to help us. Jesus doesn’t participate in the rat race. He’s into the slower rhythms of life like abiding, delighting,and dwelling. When Jesus appointed the disciples, there were two parts to their calling, as we see in Mark 3:14-15. Yes they were to go to preach and drive out demons, but FIRST they were called to be with him. Fullness comes when we remember to be with him before going out to serve him.

He wants our hearts in alignment with him before our hands set about doing today’s assignment for him.  We need to receive in prayer, worship, and truth from his word. Fix your eyes, not on a worldly prize, but on staying in love with me.

That’s an agenda that’s always completely satisfying.

Christian living

Reap what you Sow

It may seem common sense to say “you reap what you sow” but it is amazing how many of us still don’t get it! We understand that when you plant corn, you can’t expect watermelons to grow. But we don’t seem to understand that what our lives produce is usually a direct reflection on what we planted. Think about it in every area of your life as this, you get out what you put in.

Eat unhealthy foods, and you will reap that of sickness and disease, What you put in your body will either come out being good for you of long lasting health. But put in unhealthy foods, and you will suffer sickness, being unfilled and left unsatisfied. It says in 1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. And then in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 it says, Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you? if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

If you sow seeds of rage and anger, you will reap a harvest of war! if you have ever thought that your house felt like a war zone, then stop to see who is planting seeds of anger ( it may very well be you). I know this all to well, and it took me some time to actually see. However I came to realize that when I’m full of anger, it comes off onto everyone in my house. When I take my anger out on my Kids, I see them acting in the same behavior when things don’t go their way. It’s funny to me that we may not see things in ourselves until we see it coming out of our children. And then we wonder where they got that? Start looking at yourself and you will soon find all the answers. James 1:19-20 says “Know this, my beloved brothers: Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

On the other hand, if you sow seeds of tenderness and forgiveness, you’re likely to reap a harvest of peace! Think about it, when you are giving tenderness and forgiveness out to those around you, you will receive the same back in return. When I’m forgiving of my husband when he does wrong, he then forgives me when I same something unkind. When i act out in tenderness towards my kids, they are left with love instead of anger for messing up. Think, does our Heavenly Father yell at us when we make a mistake? or does he simply love us, and want to help us? Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to on another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Sow seeds of ignorance, and you will reap a harvest of sin. you cannot be lazy about learning without sinfulness being the result! Hosea 4:1-2, 6 “Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. my people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children”

But when you sow seeds of training and learning, you will reap a harvest of wisdom and righteousness. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. If I sow seeds of God, and living a christian life into my kids they will reap it later in life. If I “train” them knowing God, and reading his word, they will not depart even when they are old. I love knowing in his word if I train them knowing they are safe,loved,cared for, forgiven, never alone, to have faith not fear. That they wont’t go looking for that, they will always have it with them through Christ.

But if you sow seeds of hard work and sacrifice, you are a lot more likely to reap a harvest of plenty! Obviously not everyone who works hard and sacrifices has plenty, but it is nearly guaranteed that you will NOT have plenty if you don’t work hard and sacrifice! proverbs 14:23 “in all toil there is profit but mere talk tends only to poverty”

Those are just a few examples to think about. When you don’t like what you life is producing start looking at what your planting!

Be The LIGHT

Christian living

God’s Grace

God gave the Law to Moses and the Israelites for many reasons.

The law provided health and hygiene safety measures, set up a fair and just judicial system, provided a code of ethics and moral standards, provided boundaries (both tangible and intangible), and to prove that without a Savior Redeemer, we cannot possibly enter into the presence of God. Our sin is too high and too impossible on our own.

Often, however, people choose to acknowledge only that last reason—our need for a Savior. Now while I would certainly not argue that this is the most important reason, it isn’t the only reason. And since God saw fit to include these other elements, we need to give them the attention and obedience they deserve.

Jesus was adamant in saying He didn’t come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it; meaning He was (and still is) the Redeemer Savior; taking away the need for sacrifices.

But the health/hygiene, judicial, and moral and ethical aspects of the Law remained in place. Murder, incest, greed, adultery, stealing, cheating…all of these things are still wrong.

We are still bound to the obedience of God’s Word and Law. But praise God we have been given the gift of eternal life with God and Jesus because of God’s grace. He removed the barriers between Him and us that were impossible for us to break through on our own.

So don’t discount the Law as anything. Know that much of it carries forward into the New Testament and the doctrine of the Church.

Just be prayerfully wise; being careful to know that you are saved because of God’s grace through faithful obedience and worship.

Pray

Dear God,

Thank You for your Son, Jesus.

Thank You for the gift of salvation.

Help me honor that gift by being obedient and faithful to your commands.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:”

“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.””‭‭James‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭

What this means is that God has already given you grace just by believing in him. God’s grace is that he loves you and is there for you despite the fact that you’re a sinner. You just have to choose to put that grace first in your life. God’s grace means he’s looking out for you and you are saved because of this. But while it’s important to acknowledge that grace, there’s so much more to grace than just accepting that love. 

When you think of a graceful person, who do you think of? 

They’re kind to everyone, they say the right things, and they never miss a step Whether it be out on the dance floor or just merely in the presence of strangers, having grace is very admirable. But it’s really easy to feel like you’re not a graceful person just because of the way you move and speak. It’s even easier to say that you don’t have grace within you because you have a rocky relationship with God. Newsflash: you don’t have to be a talented dancer, eloquent speaker, or even a perfect Christian to be considered graceful. 

It’s so easy to be petty and cruel and let horrible thoughts control you because your feelings have been hurt or you feel betrayed. Trust me, I know. But being graceful and living with grace mean that you put that grace before these other emotions because grace is much more important. It means gracefully letting things go that are not meant for you. It means going beyond your inclinations of trying to get the upper hand or revenge on someone who hurt you. Having grace in your heart and soul is choosing to be the bigger person. It is acting like a lady and understanding that having mean thoughts doesn’t mean you have to act on them. No one is perfect or acts like a complete angel all the time. However, being graceful means that you put your best intentions forward with everyone despite what you have heard or what they have done to you. Grace is doing what is right, not what is easy.With God all things are Possible Shirt Matthew 19 26

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Christian living

Why

What we see will

violate

what we know

unless what we know dictates

what we see

Why?

You know that question that you’re toddlers constantly asking? It can get pretty annoying at times. But have you ever actually thought about why? Why did this happen? Or why did I do that? Why am I doing what I’m doing? Why I’m a mom? Why I’m afraid? Why am I always asking myself to do so much?
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What’s you’re why? Why do you get up in the morning? Why do you do what you do everyday? Why do you keep the same routine? Why do you tear yourself down? Why do you compare yourself?
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Have you stopped and asked yourself why?
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Today I find myself asking why a lot, why do I do what I do? why do I act this way? Why have I always been scared? Why do i let this happen? Why am I insecure? Why can’t I trust?

I always do for others, I put them before me no matter how they treat me. I keep giving until I have nothing else to give. I do for them and not God first. I end up hurting myself, I give them my everything. I have realized I can’t serve God if I keep serving a different master. I used to tell myself I’ll fix my hair for you, or I’ll dress this way for you. That I workout to look good for you, and I keep the house clean for you. I’ll cook a healthy meal for you. I never stop to think and serve God in all these ways. God loves me no matter what, he will never leave me or forsake me. Yet I keep doing for others and not healing my heart, to be able to Love and put God first. And today I ask myself why? Why do I always do for others and not do it for ME!
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Well let me tell y’all something. Don’t ever do something if it’s always in the sake of doing it for them. Yes I know we’re supposed to do for others, however not at the point that we lose ourselves and not do for ourselves. I’m also not talking about the selfish I’ll do everything for me kinda way. I’m talking about the I get up and workout for me, because I want to look and feel good. The I keep the house clean because I simply can’t function in clutter, the I cook because I actually enjoy it and I’m not a salve to serving you. The I love and stay home because I want the best for my kids and I want to be the one that pours into them daily.
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Sometimes we get so lost that we end up losing ourselves. Take the blindfold off and know it’s okay to put yourself first, to make yourself happy. Because when you do, you make the ones you love even happier, even more loved, even more appreciated.
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I hope this helps you find you’re why, I know it 

God’s love isn’t based on me. It’s simply placed on me. And it’s the place from which I should live….Loved

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

If you abide in Me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. ( John 15:7)

Christian living

Keep it shut

I highly recommend the book “Keep It Shut” by Karen Ehman.

It contains a section about how to make sure your words are always God-honoring. Ehman says the key is making sure we spend as much or more time talking to God in prayer and through reading God’s Word as we spend talking and listening to everyone else.

She says that when God is the One we spend the most time talking to, He will become the One we most want to please—the One whose opinion of us matters most.

Wow! Talk about an “ah-ha” moment! This sage advice is so obvious, but yet so easily overlooked. When we spend time talking and listening to God through prayer, reading and studying the Bible, singing songs of praise, enjoying the beauty of creation, and enjoying the talents and abilities God gave you in ways that honor Him, we draw closer and closer to Him.

Today’s verse is to our spiritual life what the adage ‘you are what you eat’ is to our physical body.

Be mindful of what you allow into your mind, because it goes straight to your heart, before flying out of your mouth.

Pray

Dear Lord,

Fill my mind and heart with only those words that honor You.

Let my words be uplifting, encouraging, and full of love and grace.

When I speak to Your children, please let them hear more of You and less of me.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

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Christian living

The Promotion

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.

– John 15:15

As a middle child, it felt like a promotion when I got to be included with the older set of siblings who babysat the younger ones.

I imagined that I had risen through the ranks and now stood in my parents’ stead as I delegated tasks or listened to the younger kids’ concerns. The respect and obedience that I had given were now due to me. I was a co-laborer with my parents to carry out their wishes during their absence.

Such authority was not arbitrary.

My parents gauged my fitness for responsibility, taking into consideration how mature I was, how readily I obeyed their requests, how well I followed their rules, if I made fair decisions, and how harsh my reprimands were. They carefully assessed my own character growth before putting vulnerable little ones under my rule.

Our Christian journey is similar to growing up in a large family. As we mature, we learn more about the reasons for our Father’s rules. We learn from those who are more advanced in their faith than we are. And we have the great privilege of working with our big brother, Jesus, as we help those whose belief is still small and fragile.

Jesus calls us His “friends,” and invites us all to a deeper relationship of mutual intimacy.

Pray

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for accepting me as I am.

It is unimaginable that You would call me “friend,” yet You have.

I, too, want a friendship with You.

I pray in Christ’s name, Amen