Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

We Are Children of God

Yesterday we celebrated Father’s Day in the states. I know this day can be difficult for many people. So many of us have fathers who have passed, fathers who choose not to be dads or fathers who weren’t kind.

This week I want to meditate on 1 John 3:1 because no matter the circumstance we find ourselves in with our earthly fathers, we have a heavenly father who loves us beyond measure.

1 John 3:1, "What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it-we're called children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to."

I struggled for a while differentiating my relationship with my earthly fathers and my heavenly Father. It can be hard to open yourself up to our Lord when you have complicated relationships with your fathers, but this week, lean into your heavenly Father.

You have been called children of God. Seek him. His love flows freely. He offers unconditional love, rest for the tired, and his perfect peace in all the ups and downs of life. So keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of the Lord!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Our God is Worthy

With my trip a few weeks ago and summer creeping in so quickly, I have been scrambling to wrap up our homeschool year and prepare for a family visit. Unfortunately, it is easy to get distracted by all the season’s busyness.

This week I want to continue focusing on praising our Lord. So the mediation verse for the week is Revelation 4:11.

Revelation 4:11, You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.

Praise is fantastic because it pleases our Lord when we spend time glorifying Him and his beautiful works and majesty. But, still, it also serves our soul a heaping portion of goodness. You can praise Him anytime, anywhere, and while doing almost anything. That means I can put on some praise music and clean my house. It also makes boring things like that more fun!

So this week, let’s focus on praising our Abba Father. He alone deserves all the glory, honor, and power!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Rest For The Tired

My schedule has been off for a couple of weeks. First, I traveled to New Mexico to celebrate graduations with my family. It’s always a whirlwind tour when we visit, and we had three graduations at once, and one of them was for my stepdaughter, so I am exhausted.

I have just been focusing on getting the kids and me back into a routine. One thing I will do to get myself refocused and recentered, especially after chaos, is to focus on pursuing our Lord. I am so grateful to my Father God for all the chaos that comes with visiting family or life in general, but I am even more thankful for the peace and restoration he brings. So, This week our mediation verse is Matthew 11:28-29.

Matthew 11:28-29, Then Jesus said, "Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

This week let’s find our rest in our Lord Yeshua.

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

We Have Victory!

It can be easy to look back and see all the negatives in our lives. Yet, Satan entices us to do that because it distracts us from the joy Our Lord gives us afresh each day. He also likes us to worry about the future, things that may not even come to pass. But the bible tells us God has given us victory! So, this week’s meditation verse is Psalms 118:14.

Psalms 118:14, "The Lord is my strength and my song; He has given me victory."

Even when I look back at some of the negative times in my life, I can see God’s victories in them. We have to train ourselves to look for triumphs. I want to focus on all the good, the victories in my life. God is my strength and my song. He is our strong champion! We can sing and be joyful in Him!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

You Are What You Say

I have been trying to drive this point home to my boys lately. My youngest can be very hard on his older brother. I am teaching them to help each other shine rather than diminish their flame. This week’s verse is Luke 6:45.

Luke‬ ‭6:45‬‬, A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.

It can be hard in the heat of an angry moment, but It’s important to remember to speak positively and encourage others. It’s so easy to slip and let your anger flow, but we need to pray that God would change our heart and make it more like his so we won’t get angry and have slip-ups. I want my heart and mouth only to flow good things, full of love.

This week let’s meditate on this verse and make a point to encourage those around us, even if it’s a difficult interaction. You never know how much a kind word is needed!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Be Sweet On The Inside

This week I want to start on a positive note. I want to focus on the goodness that blooms from within when we live God’s way. So our verse this week is Galatians 5:22.

Galatians 5:22 "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness."

I saw a sign that said, “In the morning, give me coffee and Jesus” I think I need a double portion of both! I am not always the most loving, joyful, patient person, especially if I haven’t had coffee yet. But since we house the Holy Spirit, he will help us be better. Like coffee, He warms our souls!

I like the way this verse is written in The Message bible.

But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

I do not think I could explain it better. If you are struggling in any of these areas, it may be a sign you need a dose of vitamin GOD. I prescribe you open up your bible, put on some worship music, and spend some time basking in his glory! And maybe have a cup of joe.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Delighting In The Lord.

I read this week’s scripture the other day, and I thought it was beautiful. So I have been working on memorizing it. The bible tells us the Lord delights in us, but do we take the time to delight in him? So this week, our scripture is Psalms 27:4.

Psalms 27:4, The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord's perfections and meditating in his Temple.

When I was little, I had a very skewed view of God. I feared God would send me to hell if I did wrong. I remember thinking it would be impossible for me to be good enough living in the world. So I wanted to be a nun because I thought it would be easier if I lived a life devoted to God without distraction. I didn’t have much Godly instruction growing up, but I did have one thing right. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.

I know now that my salvation is not based on my actions but on the work of Christ on the cross. My life is far from a quiet, distraction-free existence of servitude, but it is still essential for me to find quiet time to delight in my Lord. I need to be in His presence. It’s home to me.

This week let’s seek most to be in the presence of God, meditating in his word, and delighting in his perfections!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

He Has Risen!

In honor of our Lord and Savior and the resurrection holiday we all just celebrated this week, I want to focus on Matthew 28:6. I usually use the New Living Translation, but I am using the New International Version this week. I think the wording is more profound in this case.

Matthew 28:6, "He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."

First of all, the good news was that our Lord was not there. He had risen. Our whole faith is rooted in these words, in the belief that Jesus conquered death on that cross. And the following words, “Just as he said he would.” So faithful, so trustworthy. Our Lord said he would, and he did. Jesus is a promise keeper. Let’s meditate on that this week.

I hope you all have a blessed week!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Hopelessly Devoted

When I first started as a Christian, I resonated with Peter. He is stubborn and stands up for what he thinks is right. Notice how I said what he thinks is right. Yea, Peter grew spiritually, and I am too. Now I admire Paul. His books give me so much encouragement. So this week, I started with a small verse from the extended one you see below. It is Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”

The whole piece is too good not to share it in its entirety, so please read it below.

Colossians‬ ‭4:2-6‬ , "Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone."

So, this week let’s devote ourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. First, let’s pray for each other so that God will give us many opportunities to speak his good news. Pray that we, as the body of Christ, would live wisely among nonbelievers. Remember that we need to make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Next, we can pray God gives us pure hearts so our words will be gracious and lovely. Finally, we can pray for our brothers and sisters in chains, bondage, and war. Pray the Lord is working in the circumstances they are in and that they can get the message out to those who need to hear it.

Traditions & Rituals

Traditions & Rituals

Significant Additions To Supplement Faith

Learning about other cultures and traditions is something that interests me immensely. I am New Mexican, and the customs there are vibrant and affluent. New Mexico is very saturated in old Catholic art and traditions. From the historic cathedrals to the shrines dedicated to the Lady of Guadalupe in the historic districts. Visiting is very much an experience whether you are catholic or not.

You can expect rich customs and traditions from many religions, except American Christianity. I know I must seem like I am always on the attack of American Christianity, but lately, I have been feeling flat in my worship. I crave something more. I read my bible, am enrolled in Bible Study Fellowship, attend church every Sunday, and listen to podcast sermons daily. I try to make Christ an integral part of my day. I still crave more.

I have been learning more about Christianity’s Hebrew roots and Jewish customs. It is essential to know and experience certain things to understand them fully. For example, my boys and I recite the Shema Prayer daily since hearing it in our nightly Abide meditations. My boys have taken to saying the morning and evening prayer and love to say the Hebrew words in the Shema. Doing this has also brought attention to the words in Deuteronomy ‭6:5-9. My kids have questioned what it means to wear them on your hands and forehead and write them on your doorposts. They have asked why we do not have this written on our doorposts. It has profoundly impacted us. Even though we pray, adding the Shema helps us re-frame our prayers to come to the Lord with reverence and worship rather than just supplications.

The Shema prayer is a Jewish prayer recited at morning and evening services. In the Abide meditation, the gentleman mentions that no doubt Jesus said this prayer every day, which moved me to make it part of our routine. I prayed about it because I did not want to offend my Lord. But, I felt this was something good and was led to move forward because, as you know, He offers discernment when we seek it. He affirmed me, and we are truly blessed. I cannot tell you how amazed I am that my kids have taken to this so well. My boys remind me to say it now, and I hear them throughout the day repeating it. My oldest son already has it memorized and leads us in our prayer.

What traditions and practices do you and your family do together to keep your heart on God?