Thursday, April 20, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

I've been studying in Deuteronomy lately and this old post caught my attention again.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Providing Clothing

Proverbs 31:13
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

After going through the clothes for this spring/summer, three of my girls were still short on pajamas. I figured I would just make some. Just a few days later, we were given some bedding which happened to have some extra queen size pillow cases that didn't match other bedding. I use them to make pillow case dresses. I made two different styles as I used what I had on hand. I then took some material and made a "pillowcase" to make a third pillowcase dress. I added some lace to the bottom to make it a little longer.

Pillowcase dress made using bias tape and elastic.

"Pillowcase" dress using material, lace, bias tape, and elastic.

Pillowcase dress used by making a casing and using ribbon ties.

For all three of these it cost me nothing but my time which was maybe an hour combined to make all of them.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Live Differently

Matthew 5:43-48 KJV
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

God calls us to live differently from the world. We must stand out from everyone else and since God is love (1 John 4:8), showing love when the world wouldn't, definitely causes us to be different. Evil can only be overcome by love. We can change others by the love we show even when the world says we have the "right" to withhold love. May we rise to the standard God sets for us and demonstrated to us through the life of Jesus Christ.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

We just finished studying contentment in our Bible class. Of course, discussing contentment also means discussing lusts of the flesh which took us to James 4:1-6. The scripture also came up in a discussion at church last week. I remembered writing a blog post about it so I thought I would refresh my memory on what I wrote and also re-share it with you. I have found that when God brings something into my life in multiple ways at different times, then I better pay attention because it must be important!



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Resist Evil

Matthew 5:38-42 KJV
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Our human nature (and the world) says that if someone hurts us, they deserve to be hurt the same way, but christ is all about love. We are not to seek revenge, but show love. We don't strike back, we give more than what they are asking, and we don't turn away someone in need.

Is it easy to live this way?

NO!

Our fleshly desire is to say that it is our right to be angry and to fight back, but as Christians, we are called to love. We can resist evil with love.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Trying to Save Some Money

A few weeks ago, two of my children decided it would be fun to hang from our shower curtain. Guess what?! It broke and they fell. They also tore the decorative shower curtain and broke the shower rod. I'm thankful the shower liner stayed intact as I just purchased that not too long ago.

However, I had forgotten how expensive shower curtains are! We don't like using the plastic shower curtains because the smell of them always give me headaches and I like being able to throw them in the washer every now and then. When I purchased the last shower curtain, it was when we had to remodel our bathroom due to some water damage and we chose the paint color of the bathroom based on the cheapest shower curtain I could find that I liked (it was on clearance and if I remember correctly less than $10).

The shower curtain rod was the rod that came with the house when we bought it almost 20 years ago so I didn't mind that it had to be replaced, but I didn't have the money to replace it with the kind I wanted, so I had to do with what I had.

We had an old tension rod that didn't hold the tension well, but I used the brackets from the old rod to stabilize it. I found some hooks at the thrift store for only $1. I then went about making a decorative shower curtain from some upholstery fabric that had been given to me a few years ago that matched our paint. I did have to spend $4 on some ribbon to cover the seam from sewing the material together to make it big enough, but I like how it turned out by giving it a little more decoration.

So, for only $5 and about an hour of my time, we have a new shower curtain. This way, I won't feel bad about making a new one when we are able to repaint the bathroom another color.


I'm not sure why I hadn't thought about sewing my own shower curtain before. I am thankful that a post on sewing a shower curtain popped up on Pinterest one day when I was searching for something else.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

I've been doing a lot of sewing lately to get ready for spring/summer clothes for everyone. This had me thinking of things I have sewn in the past. I think my sewing has improved over the years so it is fun to look back and see how far I've come. Here are some Throw Backs to a few of my sewing posts.

10 Cents and a 1/2 Hour







Sunday, March 26, 2017

Never Alone

I sang this hymn for the first time today when someone requested it at church. What a great song and I love how this gentleman sings it. I hope you enjoy it!



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

The topic of marriage has been abundant in our home lately. Once again, we have been reminded of how many marriages around us are in trouble. Here is one of my former posts on marriage.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Is Sarcasm Okay?

Matthew 5:33-37 KJV
33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

We should be living our lives in such a manner that people do not have to wonder if what we are saying is truth or not. They should not have to ask us to "swear" that what we are about to say is truth. When we say "yes" it should always mean "yes" and when we say "no" it should always mean "no".

This causes me to consider sarcasm. The world accepts sarcasm and I have to say that I was a pretty sarcastic person for many years. The reasons why I am not as sarcastic as much escape me, but it still creeps up sometimes. These verses cause me to be more aware and encourage me to try hard to remove sarcasm from my lips.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Purity in Marriage

Matthew 5:31-32 KJV
31  It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

The seventh commandment is "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Here Jesus is taking it further and explaining how one causes another to commit adultery.

God hates divorce. Marriage is a covenant bond that is never to be broken. God desires purity and when a divorced person remarries, the purity is already gone.

I know this is a big issue and most people don't think it is fair, but purity is a big issue with God as is a covenant bond.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

Recently, my family has been drawn to the discussion of what our girls plan on doing after they graduate from our home school. It reminded me of the following post from a few years ago.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

If It Offends

Matthew 5:29-30 KJV
29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

I think we  can all agree that if something is harmful, we should get rid of it. However, when it comes to a part of our body, we tend to be a little lenient on the issue. What we need to remember is that it is better to lose a small part of our body instead of our whole life. Our souls are much more important than our physical bodies and if we can not control a part of our body from affecting us spiritually, it is better to rid ourselves of the body part. It may seem extreme, but our souls are worth it.


Monday, March 13, 2017

The Heart

Matthew 5:27-28 KJV
27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Once again, Jesus is talking about the heart. What we do and what we say all start in the heart. If we allow lust in our hearts, it won't be long before action is taken. We must stop it before it starts.

Why let sin take hold of our hearts? We are held to a higher standard for a reason-because God expects more from us. He gives us guidelines and rules to protect us from the mistakes of this world.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Live Peaceable, Part 2

Matthew 5:25-26 KJV
25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

These scriptures are similar to Wednesday's. We should do all in our power to live peaceably with others. When we live in love and show mercy even to our enemies, then our enemies will have less against us.

Even if we are never thrown into a physical prison, we could end up in an emotional prison (which may be worse). When we follow God's commands in love, we will have protection from evil. Live righteously in the first place and then you don't have to worry about offering a sacrifice.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

I have been asked a few times in the last few weeks about the books we use for reading. Here is a post I wrote last year about our choice to use McGuffey Readers.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Live Peaceably

Matthew 5:23-24 KJV
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

It doesn't take long of studying Jesus' life to learn that relationships are very important. These verses are no different. Here we see that it is more important to keep relationship than it is to offer a sacrifice. Also, can you truly offer a sacrifice if your heart isn't at peace?

What I find interesting (and never noticed before) is that it says, if your brother "hath ought against thee." This isn't whether you have ill feelings against someone else, but how he feels about you. As Christians we should strive to live peaceably with others ("If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." ~Romans 12:18). We need to do whatever we can to have and keep that peace.

Monday, March 6, 2017

What I'm Reading

I started out this year with the plan to do more reading. I'm not off to a bad start, but I have yet to start any of the books that I was planning on reading!

Here is what I was planning on reading this year:


Here are some of the books I have read or started reading:
I wanted to read this before my two oldest girls did. It is a great book.

I received this for Christmas and it was a perfect read during the days following Bella being born.

I received this for my birthday last month (although it just arrived last week). I'm loving it so far!
I ordered this last month and just started reading it.

This month I am participating in a Read-a-thon to raise money for a friend who is saving for an adoption. I hope to finish at least Control Girl and What He Must Be this month and then maybe I can get started on one of the books I had planned to read this year (first picture).

What are you reading right now (or hope to read soon)? I would love for you to share!

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Heart

Matthew 5:21-22 KJV
21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Most people will agree that a murderer needs to go before the judge for punishment. However, Christ goes further. The judgement is required before murder even happens.

We know that evil things begin in the heart,

Matthew 15:19 KJV
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Why not stop it there? If you let anger fester in the heart or if you let the thought of someone being a food stew, evil will ensue. Take care of the issue before it goes that far.




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Law

Matthew 5:17-20 KJV
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Many people think the old testament is obsolete because Christ fulfilled the law. However, as we learn in these scriptures, Christ didn't come to destroy (make obsolete) the law, but to fulfill it. There isn't any part of the law that should be changed until it is fulfilled. The law is good.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that one can earn salvation by living by the law, but that doesn't mean that the law is something to be ignored either. It would do us well to study the law and the prophets and see why those commands were given to the people in the first place.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Motherhood

I received a book for Christmas that I have been wanting to read for a few years.


This book has been perfect for my time as of late because each entry is short and easy to read amidst the chaos of having a new baby. Since I have been a little sleep deprived, I haven't been able to read large chunks without getting tired and forgetting what I have read. This book has been refreshing in those short amount of times I have available.

I have followed Kelly Crawford's blog, Generation Cedar, for a few years and have found it uplifting, educational, and though-provoking. I knew that I would enjoy this book as well.

I wanted to share a poem from this book that I found thought-provoking and encouraging. In the midst of a busy life of raising children, it is a good reminder to slow down and cherish the time we have.

Mother, Take the Time
by Kelly Crawford
(shared with permission)

I used to race, I used to hurry,
I used to fret and frown and worry.
My children thought they had new names-
"Hurry Up" and "We're Gonna Be Late"!
Even when we were at home-
Laundry, cleaning, answer the phone . . .
I never had the extra time
to sit and cherish these children of mine.
But in His grace the Lord broke through
And I saw everything anew.
We have but only a few days here,
to love and share and pull them near.
And while there're things that must be done,
Our lives are like the setting sun.
While its light is burning bright,
Before we face, alone, the night,
Let's stop the madness of this race-
Let's take back a slower pace!
Look into those grinning faces, 
Plan your day with lots of spaces.
Grab a hand and take a walk,
Listen while your children talk.
Let them show you childhood things,
Take turns laughing on the swing.
Snuggle up beside the fire,
Kiss the hurt left by a brier.
Meet them with a morning smile,
Go out and fish a little while.
Choose carefully how you spend your time.
Don't wait until you suddenly find
The wrenching grief of a heart that aches
Who loved too little and found out too late.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

My Reason for Being Absent

The blog has been quite quiet lately and for good reason . . . a new member joined our family just over 2 weeks ago!

Bella was born Feb. 1st and she stole our hearts! She came over 2 weeks past her due date, but she was worth the wait.



As always, a new baby means a time of adjustment. My older girls have been such a blessing by taking care of all meals, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, taking care of the younger children and allowing me to take naps during the day to help me with the sleep I lose at night. It is such a joy to see that they are fully capable of running a home!

I am hoping to be able to spend more time writing posts. I have lots of ideas running through my head, but I have lacked the time to get pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!).

I thank you for your patience as we try to find our new "normal"!


Friday, February 3, 2017

Let It Shine

Matthew 5:14-16 KJV
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

When we become children of God by accepting Christ's free gift of salvation, we become light to the world. We are to shine for Jesus. We are to share Him with others so they can come to know HIm, too. We can not hide our lights.

First, we couldn't even if we tried because light overtakes darkness. Secondly, what good is a light that doesn't reach those around it? We must share Jesus!




Thursday, February 2, 2017

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Salt of the Earth

Matthew 5:13
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Salt is good for two things-preserving and flavoring. As salt, we should be "flavoring" the world around us with Christ's love. In doing so, we can preserve mankind. If we fail to season life with Christ's love, what good are we?


Monday, January 30, 2017

Blessed are the Persecuted

Matthew 5:10-12 KJV
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

These verses speak more to me today than they used to because persecution against Christians has increased so much over the last few years. In America, while it is rare to be killed for our faith, we do endure ridicule, harassment, emotional attacks and sometimes physical attacks for following Christ. However, we can take comfort in this verse. When we experience persecution due to following Christ and His ways, we will be rewarded with the kingdom of heaven! How great to experience eternal reward over the temporal rewards we may receive if we gave into the pressures of the world.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Peacemakers

Matthew 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Peacemakers.

What exactly is a peacemaker? It is a someone who seeks peace and does what is needed to obtain and/or keep peace. In many places in the Bible, God calls us to seek peace or live in peace.

1 Corinthians 7:15b says,

but God hath called us to peace.

When we follow God's commands, we show we are His children; therefore, we need to seek peace.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

Being over due for a baby had me wanting to take things into my own hands and "control" when the baby would actually come. However, that is not the case.



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Blessed are the Merciful

Matthew 5:7 
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

If we desire mercy to be shown to us, then we must be willing to show mercy to others. There are many times in the Bible that this principle is shown. Christ tells the parable of the king who took account of his servants. When he saw one servant owed him lots, he was prepared to throw him in jail until the servant begged mercy. The king showed mercy, but then the servant wet out and denied mercy to someone else who owed him money. When the king found out, he had the first servant thrown in jail because of his lack of mercy to others (Matthew 18:23-34).

Christ even tells us this principle is the law in Matthew 7:12 and even the world considers it a good principle-"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Show mercy if you desire mercy shown to you!


Monday, January 23, 2017

They Shall be Filled

Matthew 5:6 KJV
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

What does it mean to hunger and thirst after righteousness? Well, what do you do when you are hungry and thirsty? You search for something to fill you. It is the same. You search the scriptures and you seek God's wisdom. When we seek God, we will find Him and be satisfied. Christ tells us He is the bread of life

John 6:48 KJV 
I am that bread of life.

and the living water.

John 4:10 KJV 
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Blessed are the Meek

Matthew 5:5 KJV 
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

While meek means being gentle and kind, it also means humble and unassuming. We must humble ourselves before God to receive His blessings. When we are humble, He can use us. Those who are meek in this world are often taken advantage of by those of the world, but here we are told that in the end, when we persevere, we will be rewarded with the inheritance of the world.

May we strive for meekness instead of the rewards of this world. May gentleness and kindness be our goals. May we remain humble and unassuming so God can use us.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

Back in 2009, I didn't really have a close friend. I'm thankful to say that I do have a close friend now, but the sentiments of friendship discussed in this old post haven't changed.



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pure in Heart

Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Do you ever wonder why some people see God's hand at work in this world and others don't? I think it all has to do with the heart. If the heart is full of pride, anger, and/or bitterness, it is going to miss seeing God because they will be blinded by what is in the heart. It is only when we have open hearts that God can speak to us and show us His power and might.

Is your heart open to see God? Is it full of sin so that it blocks all God has done for you or is doing? Open your heart today. Repent and allow God to clean it and make it pure.

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

They Shall be Comforted

Matthew 5:4 KJV
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

To truly know the need for comfort, one must know what true mourning is. When we mourn over the state of our sin and realize how terrible we are, only then can we receive God's comfort/forgiveness.

I mourn over my sin. I mourn over the lost time to truly serve God. I mourn over the lost opportunities to do His will. However, I know that God forgives me and gives me hope to do better. I know He can and will use my mistakes for His honor and glory. I take comfort in knowing I am forgive and can still be useful in God's hands.

What are you Under?

1-15-17 Sermon

video


Monday, January 16, 2017

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

Matthew 5:3 KJV  
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

When I think of being poor in spirit, I think of someone who doesn't think too highly of themselves. They are not prideful; therefore, they are open to receive the Holy Spirit. They are not filled with themselves, so the Holy Spirit can fill them and they become a child of God-a part of the kingdom of heaven.

I pray that I never get so prideful that there isn't room for the Holly Spirit. As a human and a child of sin, pride is something with which we all struggle. May we strive to be poor in spirit so we can be rich with the Holy Spirit.


Friday, January 13, 2017

The Best Yes

Last month I had a midwife appointment and my midwife let me know that she was running late due to helping at a birth. I decided that since I had time, I would stop at the local thrift store and look around. I was blessed to find a practically new copy of The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. I had wanted to read it when it first came out, but didn't have the extra money for the book. Now, I was able to get it for only $ .25!

I still had time so I stopped at the coffee shop, got a drink and sat down to start the book. I wasn't disappointed.
We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please.
This quickly caught my attention. I have been a people-pleaser for as long as I remember. It has been something I have been working on for a couple of years because we can't please everyone-especially if we are trying to live for God.
But a Best Yes will require having the courage to say no to other things. No to wrong things. NO to some seemingly good things. That is the only way to ensure there's space to run and take a leap of faith toward the best things.
While I underlined this when I read it as something that completely made sense, it still was something that I was finding difficult to do. I'm glad that my children seem to be learning faster than I am! My oldest was approached with an opportunity this summer that is a good opportunity; however, after praying about it, she said she felt God calling her to keep herself available which meant saying "no" to this opportunity. Now, she doesn't know what God is truly calling her to do, but she is taking a step of faith by keeping herself available for His Best Yes for her.

Another profound thought from Lysa,
The decisions we make, make the lives we live. If we want to live better, we've got to decide better.
I have to start paying attention and making better choices in the small things so that my life is a better example of living for Christ. I need to stop trying to please others and leave myself available to serving Him and saying, "yes" to Him. It is true what Louie Giglio says,
Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less.
I truly enjoyed this entire book. My almost like new copy of the book is now filled with underlines, circles, stars, etc. I think this is a book that I will most likely read again the year ahead.

Have you read The Best Yes? Maybe you haven't, but you have thought about it like I did. Would you care to share your thoughts?


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Throw Back Thursday

I am trying to stick more to the Trim Healthy Mama plan that I have this pregnancy in preparation of needing to lose the extra weight soon as well as to get healthier in 2017. I liked seeing this post for Sugar Free Chocolate Ice Cream in my previous blog posts. While I most likely will use stevia or swerve or something instead of xylitol, it should still taste yummy!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My Word for 2017

Last year was the first year I felt compelled to find a word and scripture to focus on for the year. You can read about my word for 2016, transform, here.

This year, I sat down and prayed about a word. Immediately, God brought the word "serve" to mind.


Of course, I wanted a scripture to go along with my word. Finding a scripture that I felt God also laying on my hear in regards to serving, servanthood, etc. proved a little more challenging. It took me a few days of reading scripture and praying about it before coming to a final conclusion. After having my scripture, I wanted to do an adult coloring page with that scripture that I could hang on my bedroom wall as I did last year. I couldn't find a free printable or one in any of my adult coloring books, so I decided to create my own using a program I have on my computer.

To download a black and white copy of this page, click here.

My coloring page now hangs on my wall next to my bed as a daily reminder. God calls us to serve which means that we often need to deny ourselves even though we live in freedom under Christ's shed blood. Serving is also best done and received when it is done in love.

I pray that this year I grow in understanding of what it truly means to serve and to serve in love.

Do you have a word for 2017? I would love for you to share what God has placed on your heart!


Monday, January 9, 2017

Sun Stand Still

A few months ago I read, Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. I received this book 8 years ago just
before my twins were born so I didn't have a chance to read it then. I saw it up on my shelf and decided now was the time.

I truly enjoyed this book. It has challenged me to examine my faith life. It is based on the part of scripture where God made the sun stand still during a battle to help the Israelites win (Joshua 10:1-14).

He speaks of "audacious" faith.
Audacity isn't the absence of uncertainty and ambiguity. Audacity is believing that God's promise is bigger than my perhaps.
So many times we base our "faith" on what we think is possible or acceptable. We need to stop living in fear of what others think is possible or acceptable and embrace that audacious faith.
Audacious faith does not guarantee a crisis-free life. But audacious faith does enable you to seize the opportunity to see God's glory in the midst of every crisis in your life.
Most of the time, we pray for God to keep us from, or remove, hard times in our lives; however, as Steven Furtick points out, it is exactly those hard times that grows our faith and allows us to see God's hand at work.
Don't you typically think of adversity as the opposite of opportunity? I usually pray for God to remove all the obstacles and opposition in my life. To my way of thinking, adversity gets in the way of opportunity.
But God doesn't think like I think. I guess that's why he rarely asks me what I think. So instead of taking away our adversity, he develops our faith and demonstrates his strength by working through our adversity.
He also speaks of how audacious faith isn't just the hope of God answering our prayers, but it may require us to take action and do something. If you look back to the story in Joshua, you see that the Israelites marched all night to get to the battle ground and even though they were tired, he asked for God to make the sun stand still so they could fight.
If you are going to pray for God to make the sun stand still, you'd better be ready to march all night.
 We can't just sit back and expect God to do all the work. We have to be obedient to what God calls us to do. He will use our life experiences to mold and shape us into the people He can use for His honor and His glory. He will give us a vision, but we need to put feet to that vision and step out in faith.

I highly recommend this book. I wish I would have made the time to read it sooner. Of course, maybe it has been sitting on my shelf for such a time as this.

Due to reading this book, I decided to do a study on the book of Joshua in my personal study time. I took my study notes and created a study to share with all of you. While the scriptures I have written out are in KJV (because that is what I use), please feel free to read the scripture references in whatever translation you personally use. I am sure you will still find benefit even though the wording may be different.

A Journey Through Joshua

Since this is my first time inserting a downloadable file, please let me know if this works for you or not. I may attempt to write and share more studies so I would appreciate as much feedback as possible on the process of downloading the study as well as the study itself. You can leave comments below, on my facebook page, or message me directly.