Remain Open To Instruction

Remain Open To Instruction

There Is Always Something New To Learn

Well, I finished my Bible Study Fellowship class last week. We spent the year in Matthew. I have to be honest. I wasn’t thrilled to study through Matthew. I am not sure why I felt that way. It could have been because I have read through it before. I am ashamed to admit I thought this would be a boring year. But, boy, I was wrong.

It was such a great book to sit and soak in for me at the stage of life I was in this past year. I learned to name my emotions, recognize my numbing triggers, and process my feelings. It has been quite a year. This book was a very emotional read this time around. I have never experienced Jesus like I did this year. I have never fallen more in love with the person he is or felt the weight of the crucifixion as I did this year.

It was tough towards the end, and I realized I did not want to read the betrayal and crucifixion. So I found myself procrastinating and even dreading it. But, as accountability does, I had to work through it, and it was intense. The best part was how it lined up with resurrection day. It brought it to life, especially for my kids.

I was also able to teach the kid’s version to my boys in our homeschool class, and I cannot tell you how amazing it was. They enjoyed reading and learning about Jesus, and they both decided to accept Jesus into their hearts. They have already shown me they have discernment. I am in awe of how the Lord moves in their little world.

Reading Matthew like this, spending nine months in the book, has been a blessing. If you have never tried an in-depth bible study like this, I recommend it!

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!

Sins of the Flesh

Sins of the Flesh

You might be thinking, what the heck are sins of the flesh. We Christians are known for our churchy talk, but this phrase is straight out of the Good Book. It is our sinful nature. Inside, all of us desire to sin. This desire is in everyone, Christian and atheist alike. This craving calls us to things that are not good for our spiritual and, in many times, physical well-being.

Sins of the flesh are those iniquities that we desire out of lust. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. We become a temple. Christians should be living through the Spirit. We need to keep ourselves from immorality because our actions affect ourselves and the world’s perception of Christ. God knew that we would need his help. That is why he sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us.

Galatians 5:16 says, "So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions."

So we should be living out of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps to keep us spiritually-minded. When we surrender to the Holy Spirits’ instruction in life, we will receive gifts of the Spirit. In Galatians 5:22-23, we read, “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”

We will know true love, joy, and peace when we follow God’s will for our lives. But, when we aren’t, we will feel guilt, anger, and shame. Now you may be wondering what these sins of the flesh are. I will leave you with the scripture below.

Galatians 5:19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Pure Thoughts

This week, I remind myself to keep my thoughts fixed on Jesus and good things. I am repeating Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Isn’t it amazing to think that we can please the Lord just by having good thoughts? Our thoughts can determine the course of our day. But, we also have the power to bring life or death with our words, not only for ourselves but to everyone we meet. Our thoughts and words have so much power, so we have to direct them towards Jesus actively. I also really love saying, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. It makes me feel close to Him, like a term of endearment. I find my rest in Him. He is my rock.

Keep your thoughts fixed on Him this week, and see the fruit you will bear!

Encouraging Mondays

Encouraging Mondays

Power Over Temptations

This week my mediation verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

I love this verse as it has helped me often and when I am in the throes of temptation I hear the still small voice in the back of my head repeating these words to me. We all deal with temptation from time to time. But, no matter the scope of the lure itself, we can rest assured knowing that our Lord is bigger and stronger. He gives us the power to overcome, so we can quickly look for that exit and beeline to the door!

I hope this scripture will encourage you this week! If you enjoyed the wallpaper from last week, I added it again.

Food For Your Soul

Food For Your Soul

Give yourself a heaping portion!

"People do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4

Do you ever feel like God starts to nudge you when you haven’t put any focus on him? I can feel it when I start to slide on spending time with the Lord in my day-to-day life. I get busy with the kids, errands, and household things. Time goes by so fast, and before I know it, it’s time for bed! It can be so hard to find the time to squeeze God in. That in itself is a problem. I shouldn’t have to “squeeze God in,” so I have to be adamant about making time for him. It isn’t something I am great at, but these are a few of the things I do that help me make the time to focus on the Lord and recharge my soul.

  1. Be Intentional. Like I mentioned, I can feel it when I need to soak in the word. I start stressing, getting irritable, and I know I need to get back into God’s word. It’s not something I do because I feel like I have to, although, for my sanity, I do. Set time aside every day to meet with him and dig into his word. Make sure you can do it uninterrupted. I know it’s hard when you have kids. For me, it either has to be early in the morning or after they go to sleep. I prefer mornings, but I don’t always get to do it then.
  2. Commit. Once you have picked a time that works best for you, You have to commit to doing it every day. You have to commit to yourself and God that you will follow through and meet with him. I know that if I promise God I will, I’m more likely to do so than if I decide on my own. I am currently in Bible Study Fellowship. This year is my third year with them. I love BSF because it is so in-depth, and it is great to have a group talk about what you have learned and hold you accountable. Accountability is always helpful. If you can’t find a person or group, it may be a good idea to write out a prayer of commitment. A study I did with Good Morning Girls asked that we do that, and I loved the idea! Something about having it in writing to God makes it more official and could help you better commit.
  3. Create small goals. Let’s face it. The bible can be overwhelming. I found that it’s easier to commit if I do small studies or set a small goal, such as finishing one book at a time. Celebrate your accomplishments. When you complete a study, reward yourself. I feel like I accomplished an incredible feat when I can finish a devotional in its entirety, and a reward is always nice.
  4. Engage your mind. One thing I have found that helps me is keeping a journal. It helps me focus and not let my brain wander to the kitchen or the kids. Plus, I get to think about what God is speaking to me. Even if you do not like to journal, its always good to at least answer some engaging questions to get the most out of your time in the word. Most studies come with questions of some sort, but if you are studying alone at least think about what message is being taught and how you can apply it to your life.
  5. Engage your kids. I have always loved talking to my kids about what I’ve read. Now my kids are old enough to read with me, and they always have the best questions. My daughter has always had fantastic feedback as well. She loves talking about verses, and I love hearing what God is speaking to her through the same verses, she often hears an entirely different message, and it’s terrific sharing that with her!

If you are having trouble finding time to dive in and soak up the word in a busy world, don’t give up, God is always ready to speak to you. Just take the time to listen! These are just a few ways I can plug in and recharge. What are some ways you find work for you? Comment below!

"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." Psalms 119:105