Hello and Happy Tuesday! Guess what? It snowed last night! Needless to say, I was a happy camper when I woke up this morning. Not that it snowed much, only maybe an inch, but still…I can’t help myself. I just love snow that much:) I was a little afraid of how the roads might be [mainly because of other drivers…I’m quite used to snow driving] but they weren’t really bad at all. Thank goodness.
I wanted to share something I read from Titus this morning that I found insightful and interesting…
“Likewise teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
When Titus says ‘older women’, that doesn’t necessarily mean just those older in age. It can also refer to women who are more mature in their faith than others. What would our lives be like it we all had an older, mature Christian women guiding us, loving us, and living life along side us? Some of you may have had this sort of leadership in a mother or Christian mentor, but there are many women out there who have never had a positive role model in their lives.
If every older [mature] woman took this scripture seriously, and made a point of guiding the younger women in their lives, I’m convinced our society as a whole would be a better place. I think we would see fewer broken homes and more solid marriages than we do today. I think it would be easier to stay on the track God has called us to if we all received the proper encouragement and support along the way. The concept of older women mentoring younger women was important enough to be included in the New Testament, so it must be worthwhile for us today as well.
Is there someone in your life who has been a mentor or positive role model to you? Or maybe there is someone you have mentored in the past? What did you gain from that relationship? Ask the Lord to highlight those around you who may need some encouragement and guidance—young or old, we can all use a little support now and then. Just something to think about.
Well, I hope you all have a great rest of your day! God Bless:)
Good Morning! Hope you all are having a great Thursday so far. Did anyone else experience crazy windstorms last night?? It was seriously SO windy outside our apartment last night. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t enjoy it—because I did. I love the wind—it reminds me of being out on a sailboat in the middle of Lake Michigan, and that is always a pleasant reminder. Needless to say, we survived the crazy wind, and none of our furniture blew away. However apparently there is a large tree down somewhere in our apartment complex, so it must have been windy enough to blow that down…
Anyways, let me share with you what I read this morning from the book of James.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
While this is a fairly popular and commonly known verse, it is full of importance. As Christians, we are guaranteed to face trials and challenges in our lives. There is always going to be someone who opposes us, or a situation that pushes us to our limits. The trials aren’t the important part. The important part is how we handle those trials in our lives. James says we are to consider our trials ‘pure joy’ because in the end they are what cause us to grow as Christians in our walk with the Lord. If we never had any challenges in our lives, do you really think we would grow? Definitely not. The trials, temptations and challenges are necessary in developing us into the people we are in Christ.
So, when you are faced with a challenging situation or a difficult person to love, remember that those trials are for your ultimate benefit. Embrace that fact, and allow God to work in and through every situation in your life-whether it be good or bad. In the end, all those trials you went through will mean something, and you’ll be glad for the lessons you learned along the way.
Well, I’m off to work. Hope you all have a fabulous rest of your day! God Bless:)
Hello! Guess what? It’s still cold in Texas…yay! I have a feeling most people wouldn’t agree with my strange happiness/excitement in cold weather, but no matter. I believe it is supposed to be warm-ish again by the end of the week, but we shall see. Anyways, I was reading in 1 Thessalonians this morning, and I came across this little passage of scripture…
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I feel like God is trying to show me something about being joyful [and not complaining], even when I don’t feel like it. It seems to be a common theme lately in my reading…hmm. Here, Paul is saying that there are three things we must do in every circumstance we find ourselves facing—be joyful, prayerful, and thankful. These three components make up God’s will for us in any and all situations—whether good or bad.
Now, if your anything like me, sometimes giving thanks or being joyful isn’t the first reaction that comes to mind, especially in stressful or bad situations. Instead of praying, the first thing I want to do is complain about what is going wrong. I need to change my perspective on the way I approach life. My first reaction needs to be prayer, joy and thanksgiving.
When we choose to go about things in a way that is honoring to God [prayerfully, joyfully, thankfully], our perspective on any given situation changes, making it easier to act out of love instead of anger. Peace instead of conflict. Make a conscious effort to be joyful, prayerful and thankful in every situation you face. I have a feeling that the results will be excellent.
I hope you all are having a fabulous Wednesday! God Bless:)
Happy Monday! This morning I woke up to a little surprise outside my window…
|Note, the snow on the roof!|
|It may only be a little bit, but it sure made me happy:)|
That’s right, SNOW! Even though it was only a little tiny bit of snow, it still made me a little excited. By now it has surely all melted away, but it was so nice to see a little piece of home, even if only for a short while! (Can you tell I miss winter??)
Anyways, I was reading this morning in Philippians and came across one of my favorite passages of scripture.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Life is full of situations that induce anxiety. We live in a sinful, fallen world—how could that fact alone not produce a stressful environment? But, God says we don’t have to worry about anything. We can choose to not be anxious, overly stressed and worried. Ultimately, worrying is not going to get us anywhere fast. The only thing that can be done in any situation we may face is to bring the condition before the Lord in prayer. There is nothing to be gained through worrying, but everything to be gained in going before the Lord in prayer, seeking his face in the midst of a stressful situation.
Only when we humble ourselves before the Lord, and prayerfully bring our petitions before his throne, can we truly begin to walk in the freedom and peace that emanates from him. Only through prayer can we feel peace instead of anxiety in the midst of a worrisome situation. And only through prayer can we truly accomplish anything in this life.
Prayer is such a powerful means of communication with the Lord, yet so often it is overlooked. We feel as though God can’t truly help us overcome our stressful situations, so we look to our own power and abilities to compensate for his. How much more could we accomplish in life if we just asked for his help and guidance? Prayer has the power to do change our anxiety to peace. Doesn’t that sound like a much better way to live? It sure does to me!
Well, I hope you all are having a great day so far! I’m off to enjoy the cold weather! God Bless:)
Hello and Happy Saturday! I’m sitting at a coffee shop with my husband typing this right now since our Internet is STILL out. Sad. Day. So, sorry I missed Friday Favorites yesterday…so much frustration. Anyways.
I was reading this morning in Acts again, and came across a verse I thought I would share instead of the usual Friday Favorites (seeing as it isn’t Friday anymore)…
“And the disciples were filled with JOY and with the Holy Spirit.”
Short and sweet. Prior to this verse, the disciples had just been rejected by many of the Jews in the cities they were speaking in—and had just been thrown out of one city in particular. You would expect them to feel sad or dejected in some way, but that was not the case. They didn’t allow the rejection to get them down, but instead were filled with the joy that only comes from the Holy Spirit.
They chose joy instead of discouragement.
Now, they were aware that rejection would come with preaching the gospel of Christ, and were prepared to deal with it. Not everyone they met was going to accept their message. They chose not to let the rejection bother them—doing so wouldn’t have helped them very much.
Likewise, it’s important for us to remain joyful in all things we do—even when it’s not easy. Sharing the good news of Christ isn’t always easy, and, like the disciples, we need to be prepared for rejection. We need to be prepared for it, and choose in advance not to let it bother us. Instead of focusing on the rejection and allowing yourself to become discouraged, allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with the overwhelming joy that only He can bring.
Are you facing rejection or discouragement today? Remember that many have felt the same way you do, and choose to rely on the Holy Spirit to bring you joy in the midst of discouraging situations.
Hope you all are having a great weekend! I’ll be back on Monday, hopefully with working Internet again! Ha.
So. Big news. James and I have just added a new addition to the family…we adopted a little baby kitten yesterday! He is seriously the cutest thing ever. And he is so tiny! So far he likes climbing up my clothes, sitting on my shoulder, and then falling asleep on my lap. I will try and post some pictures tomorrow:) Oh, and his name is Sampson. He must know his name is biblical, because as I was doing my devotions this morning, he fell asleep on my Bible. Precious.
Anyways, while I was trying to read around baby Sampson sleeping on my Bible, I came across this verse…
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”
Jesus continually tried to gather the people of Jerusalem to him. He wanted to protect them, like a hen protects her young, but they rejected him. In the same way, he longs to wrap each of us in his arms and protect us from the sinful world we live in. Unfortunately, just as the Israelites, we tend to reject him. We think we can do everything on our own—and that we don’t need his help. How wrong we are.
When we let him in and allow him to help us, we can never fail. We should learn a lesson from Jerusalem. When things in life become difficult—even when things are easy—the most important thing we can do is relinquish our own personal control, and let him in. He wants so badly to help, guide and protect us. We need to let go of our pride, our idols, and anything else that is getting in his way, and let him overtake us with his perfect love and peace.
This is something that I have been dealing with a lot lately. I try so hard to do things on my own. I think that I can plan every detail of my life on my own, and I tend to think I know what’s best for me. Generally, I end up failing. It’s difficult for me, but I am learning day by day how to give up my own plans, worries, stresses, fears and anxieties, and turn everything over to God. His plan is perfect, and he wants to protect me, just as he wanted to, and still wants to, protect Jerusalem. Letting go can be scary, but the peace that accompanies it makes everything worth it. Is there anything you need to let go of today? Let Jesus in, and allow him to hold and protect you. It may seem hard at first, but it will be more than worth it in the end.
Hope you all are having a great week so far! God Bless:)
Hello and happy Thursday! This week is really flying by…well actually the last month has really flown by. Is it seriously October already?? Craziness I tell you. Well, I’ll get right down to it. This morning I was reading in Matthew again, and came across this verse…
“Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
I love the way Jesus speaks to us using examples, parables and short stories—it makes his message very easy for me to relate to. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I LOVE the way the gospels are written:) Here, Jesus is using wineskins to describe our lives, and the way in which we respond to his message.
The message of Christ is like new wine, while our sinful nature causes us to be like old wineskins. When we hear the message, our lives should be changed—significantly. Although we are not perfect, we should strive to live above sin, and flee from the evil desires of this world. However, if we go about living our lives in the same sinful ways, and don’t change our lifestyle, we are like new wine in old wineskins. We can’t contain the truth and the message inside our old sinful shell, so we burst. In order to accommodate the new wine, we need to become like new wineskins—strong, sturdy and able to receive and apply the message of Christ to our daily lives. In order to contain it, we need to make the necessary like or lifestyle changes so that our lives match up with the word and will of God. If we refuse to give up old sinful habits, we remain like old wineskins, and are unable to experience the joy, peace and purpose that comes from the new wine. Make the changes that are necessary; experience true freedom in Christ.
This is something that I have dealt with throughout the years. When I rededicated my life to Christ, I had to give up a lot of the old habits that kept me bound in sin. But, once I did, I was able to experience the true freedom found only in Christ and the “new wine”.
Is there anything in your life that is keeping you from experiencing this freedom? Let it go. I promise you, no matter how difficult it may seem to let go of; it will be worth it in the end.
Hope you all are having an excellent week so far! God Bless:)
Hello and happy Wednesday! It is a beautiful day here…the sun is out and everything looks so much greener after the rain we’ve finally been having. Love it. Anyways, today I thought I would deviate from my devotional journal and talk a little bit about something that has been on my heart lately. Fear. How many of you are afraid of something? You all better have said yes, because everyone everywhere is afraid of something at some time or another. Or, if your anything like me, you’re afraid of a lot of different things. Fear is a normal human feeling. We’re always going to feel it to some extent at certain times, but that doesn’t mean we have to LIVE in fear. Let me explain.
The Bible talks a lot about dealing with our fears. More specifically, it tells us not to fear. Here are a few that I found…
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
We don’t have to be afraid. Even when things seem unbearable and terrifying, there is no need to fear because God is with us. Fear does nothing for us except to make us afraid. It doesn’t strengthen us or help us in anyway. I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s really quite useless to fear because no matter how fearful we become, we are unable to improve our fear filled situations on our own. We have to rely on God to come along side us and protect us from our fears.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
God is always with us. He will not leave us or forsake us. Ever. Remember, God is bigger than anything we could possibly be afraid of. He is bigger than our fears. And he isn’t going anywhere. Even when we feel overwhelmed by fear, he is with us. We don’t have to fear anything, because he is all powerful.
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
God is our helper. When fear begins to creep into our lives, we need to turn to God for help. He won’t let us fall.
“There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
1 John 4:18
John says it best—there is no fear in love. Choose to love instead of fear. Choose to look your fears straight in the face, and choose not to be afraid. You can’t reach your full potential in Christ if you are living a life of fear. The devil knows this, and he tries his hardest to keep it that way. He wants us to live in fear, because that is when we are weakest. He prefers us to be cowardly and fearful instead of strong and courageous. He would rather have us live in fear than to live in love. It may seem easy to give into fear, but it’s important that we resist the temptation. Don’t give into the lies of the devil that would keep you living in fear your whole life. Choose to trust God and live in his perfect love and peace. Choose to be strong and courageous, and to break out of the darkness.
Are you living in fear? Be strong and courageous. Choose today to trust in God, and to live a life of love instead of fear.
It’s another rainy morning here…and I love it! For some reason rainy days always make me happy. Not sure why exactly.
I was reading in Ecclesiastes again this morning, and came across this verse…
“So I (Solomon) commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of his life God has given him under the sun.”
This really got me thinking about how I choose to live the life God has given me. Sometimes I feel like I focus so much on the difficult things in life that I forget to be joyful, peaceful and content. It seems like I’m always worried about something, and I find myself getting so caught up in worry that I forget to live. God gave us life not only to do his work, but also to enjoy it. He wants us to find joy in the things we do, as well as peace and contentment with the life he has given us.
The way I see it is this. Life is a journey. A journey that is not going to be without some struggles and trials at times. But, it’s important that we are happy and content with what God has given us. Joy brings refreshment and strength to continue doing his work here on earth. A life without joy would be a sad life indeed. I of all people need to remember that. It’s okay to let go of worry, and learn to be content. Even when life isn’t easy, or you just don’t feel lie being happy, it’s important to remain joyful in the Lord. Don’t let anything steal your joy.
Hope you are having a great week so far. God BlessJ