My friend, Shannon Popkin has done it again. Taken something everyone struggles with and tackled it head on. First in Control Girl (5 stars) and now in Comparison Girl. This is a book for each girl and woman in the world.
Looking at Jesus’ time on earth and how He teaches us to pour out instead of measure up, she backs up the book with Scripture and several personal/authentic stories we can all relate to. What’s best, she comes to the conclusion that living me-free is the solution to the comparison trap we find ourselves in daily.
Practical, applicable study and questions. Great for individual work or within a small group.
If you long to look at others with love and grace, with the attitude of “how can I serve?” rather than, “how do I compare, measure up or get ahead?”, then this book is for you. Actually, if you are a female this book is for you. I highly recommend!
In this American world of keeping up with the Jones’, do yourself a favor and get Comparison Girl, implement it’s words and let God change your heart to be free of comparison in our world today.
Thank you for making me. Thank you for molding me. Thank you for saving me. Once and for all but also every day.
You’ve been rescuing me for years. You’re my refuge and my song. My strength and my love. The One who knows me, gets me and loves me no matter what. The One who fills the gaps in the human heart. The One who lifts my head and heals my wounds.
You have never left me. You’ve always loved me. You have always had a plan and purpose for me.
Through the power of Your Spirit, You equip me. You make me brave. You hear me. You teach me. You forgive me. You make me nice.
Your timing in my life has been perfect. Your faithfulness goes beyond my grasp.
For this year, God, may I trust You even more and know You deeper still. Will you give me holy confidence and Gospel humility?
Help me to think of myself less and think of You and others more. Help me to see You in everything. Help me to know and feel Your strong presence. Help me to share the Gospel as you have called me too. Boldly. Authentically. Lovingly.
Help me look to You for my strength, security, hope and all. I can’t do it on my own.
May I be so sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and leading. May I be still and learn from you. Grow me. Change me. Sanctify me.
May I reflect Your Son in a world that needs Him.
May I love my children and be nice and loving to them. Teaching them of You by how I live and forgive.
Give me great, deep joy for this journey. No matter what. You hold it all and I can trust You. You have shown me that over my 42 years. You. Are. Trustworthy.
You’re it. You’re all that matters. You’re the reason we live and breathe. You’re our hope. You’re who we long to see. Here and now and also an eternity.
May my family love You and follow You in a way that isn’t normal. May You put a bubble of protection around us and not let it pop! Help us to keep our eyes on You and to love others well. To be generous with what we have. To BD and THJPL. To shine for You by loving others.
Help us to see others in Your light and with the lens of Your grace. Show us where to help. Guide us. Help us to live for You.
Thank you for 42 years today. I pray for many, many more. But. To live is Christ to die is gain!
A mind full of worry is not a sound mind. Who wants a sound mind, peace?? I sure do. It is possible if we turn our worries into prayers! Mamas let’s be prayer warriors not worriers!
“Worry weighs a person down.” Proverbs 12:25
“Give all your worries to God.” 1 Peter 5:7
“The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear [worry] but of power, love and a SOUND MIND.” 1 Timothy 1:7 (emphasis added)
“Do not worry about anything. Instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need. Thank Him for all He has done. Then the peace that passes all will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
These verses empowers us for hard, uncertain times like now. We can always be certain of God. Who He is and what His Word says. He is good!
Turn worries into prayers. When we worry what do we do?? PRAY. A mind full of worries is not a sound mind.
Want to worry less? Pray more.
Know God is in control and is good. Our life and our children’s lives are in His mighty, loving hands.
From worrier to prayer warriors! God can heal us of the disease of worry!!
Father- you long for your children to walk in freedom. Worry is not freedom. I pray you would help us trust in your mighty name and perfect plan in all things but especially with our children. Help us to not worry but if we do help us to stop and humbly ask you for help, hope and healing from worry. You are able! We trust You. May we know You and love you with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength. In Jesus name, amen.
So…yesterday our state announced they are pushing back the school start date to the week of Aug 24. We were to go back Aug 13.
I might have cried a little.
School was a light at the end of this Covid tunnel for me. A place where chaos can end and normalcy begin again. A time to “get it together” and for everyone to be on a schedule and routine.
One lie I believe, although there is some truth to it, is that I can’t get anything done with all 3 kids in the house (or anywhere near the house). A statement I read last week by a fellow mom blogger resonated so well with me, “Everything I do gets undone.” Yes. That is it in a nutshell.
I also get easily overwhelmed at all I am to be doing with my children– are they drinking enough water every day? (no) Are they eating a good balanced diet? (not always) Did they take their vitamins today? (maybe) Oops did I even feed them breakfast? (mostly) Did they clean their rooms? (nope) Brush their teeth? (there’s always tomorrow) Get off devices? (nope)
Also, maybe if they aren’t here all the time I won’t feel like I’m failing in so many ways.
It’s just all so much sometimes. Somedays I feel the pressure more than others and want to find a dark corner in the house and hide. (anyone else!??)
I’ve learned of myself, I’m not as consistently self-disciplined or motivated as I want to be and crave the routine and structure the school year brings. But I’ve also learned that I am looking to something else- school- to help me “get it together” and feel normal and in some sort of control.
All these things I’m craving- calm, joy, peace, control, consistency, normal, etc…can be found only in the Lord and Him working in my heart. Nothing else.
He can and will help me create calm, normal and routine in my own home. He will help me endure when all I want to do is not. He will help me set boundaries that are different with each child and say NO instead of this famous “whatever” I’ve had going on for a few months. He will help me care when I don’t feel like I do. He will help me lower my expectations of myself, this time, this world, my kids and my husband.
He is the One. The Answer, the Help, the Hope I need to endure and persevere no matter when we go back to school.
Father God, forgive me of my many weaknesses but thank You for big spaces for You to move and work in my life and my home. May I look to You and nothing else for calm, consistency, routine…may your Holy Spirit equip me to do as You’ve called Your children to do– endure no matter what. May my yes be yes and my no be no. All things through Your Son, Jesus. In His name I pray, AMEN!
It has a vitreous luster which means it’s clear and reflective. It’s highly diathermic which means heat goes in and out of it. It’s viscous, or sticky; and it flows at high pressures.
Salt is most known for preserving food but also for enhancing the flavor, texture and color of food.
So, when Jesus says we must have the qualities of salt among ourselves, what does He mean?
We make a difference in the “flavor” of the world we live in. Salt changes food’s flavor, making it better. We “salt” the earth with Jesus’ love, grace and truth. We are peacemakers. We reflect Jesus in our words and actions.
As salt is sticky, may our faith adhere tightly to every ounce of our being and permeate within.
Our “saltiness” (remember, this is not worldly saltiness) preserves our faith during fire- giving us perseverance during life’s many trials.
Our “saltiness” prevents the decaying of our souls. Possibly, even as we live a life seasoned with salt and keeping in step with the Spirit, we help preserve other’s souls, too. No, we cannot save people, but we can point to Jesus and show them His uncontainable love with our salt.
Think of ways to increase the salt in your life- in your words and actions. Filter everything through the lens of the Gospel and ask, is this edifying, seasoned with salt? Is this going to make things better?
I have a feeling this may stop us dead in our tracks, several times a day, from using careless words and harmful actions.
May it be so.
May Jesus help us to live a life of salt in a world that desperately needs it. In Jesus Holy Name, Amen.
*recent devotional for my church’s women’s ministry devotional series, Mocha Monday
With so much injustice in the world, what is a person to do?
In Romans 12 we are encouraged not to let other’s sin cause us to sin, but instead leave the revenge to our just and compassionate God.
“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.” … “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Romans 12:17-19, 21
We leave things to our God who is sovereign over all and can work ALL things together for good for those who love Him. We release the desire to get even, to our God who has compassion for us in pain and can heal broken places, fractured relationships and hardened hearts. We let go and let our God, who will right all the wrongs, be God.
So as Christians, how do we do this?
We love Jesus, seek to know Him and we do good.
We love one another because love comes from God. We see each and every human as created and loved by our God who has a plan for each and every life.
We love one another the way He calls us to love. We forgive and give grace. With Him we CAN forgive; only with Him can it be done.
We can pray. Always we can pray. We can pray for all people involved- the victim (that’s easy to do) but also the perpetrator (that’s the hard part). The Bible tells believers to pray for those that hurt us (Romans 12:14, Luke 6:28).
It’s backwards or upside down, isn’t it?
But such is this life we are called to live as Christians. It goes against the world and our flesh and towards the will of our Father. The will of loving Him, and loving others.
We can beg God for injustice to stop but we have to know we live in a sinful fallen world with sinful fallen people and it’s always been that way and it, according to the Bible, will get worse before it gets better.
It will get better, though, for those who love Jesus. Because He is coming back to redeem all. that. is. broken.
So share Him today. In your smile, in your giving, in your goodness and living.
Give Him away.
Know He is in charge and will take care of injustice. Know He is a good, good God always. He alone is worthy.
May the injustice being brought to light bring a revival in the hearts of those who know Him so others will be drawn to Him.
Love Him. Love His people. In Jesus name amen. 🙏🏼🙏🏼
*This is a recent devotional originally posted to my church’s women’s ministry devotional series, Flourish Friday.
My Bible reading this morning was really encouraging and I hope it is the same for you!
Watch below and keep reading for the three main take-always from 2 Corinthians 4 verses 1, 8 and 16-18 ♥️
1. Our fallen bodies and worlds are wasting away but inside we can be renewed day by day by coming to the well of Jesus.
2. Look to the unseen and not the seen. We will be afflicted, perplexed, etc by looking at the seen but focusing on Jesus and our faith, the unseen, we will not be crushed or destroyed or driven to despair.
3. Because of Jesus we can have hope for each day.
More background on these words— Paul, who was hunted down, imprisoned, wanted for dead, etc… wrote these words to encourage the Corinthians in their faith. His circumstances make our afflictions truly seemingly light. Wow. What an example to live out not losing heart. Paul knew His circumstances were temporary and that a greater glory was awaiting him in heaven one day. I love Paul and how he held fast and firmly to his faith not by His own efforts but by the grace of God.
“The suffering in Paul’s ministry brought forth life.” (Enduring bible commentary)
And we can not lose heart, not quit and faint not in our callings because of hard times, we press on and into the Lord for strength. Yes, Jesus, please help us in this today!
I walked to my mailbox, surgical gloves on my hands, grabbed the mail and was careful not to let any of it touch my clothing. I brought it inside, laid it on a counter and began sifting through it- imagining every piece contaminated, the small unseen COVID-19 lurking everywhere just waiting for it’s next host.
And then I snapped out of it and thought- what am I doing? Is this really happening? I’m crazy, this is crazy! Oh goodness did I just touch my face!?
Is anybody else here with me on this?
In that moment, I thought, “What would Jesus be doing right now? What would He do during a pandemic like this?”
Would He put on gloves to open His mail? Would he wonder if he washed His hands for 20 full seconds? Would He wipe down every. single. thing that comes into His house? Would He wash His phone with alcohol multiple times of day? Strip all clothing off when He comes in from going anywhere? Would He have shaved His beard and worn a mask? Wait. Would Jesus even be able to contract the virus?
You can see, I’m a gal of many questions and curiosities (I get on my own nerves sometimes, I promise!). And we don’t have time to answer all of them today, mainly because a lot of them are answered with, I don’t know.
BUT! I did realize a couple of things Jesus would be doing during a pandemic and want to encourage us all to do the same during this time. No, we aren’t Jesus; but we have the Holy Spirit’s mighty power inside of us to do more than we can think or imagine with willing, humbled, surrendered souls. Oh, that we would be those souls!
HE WOULD SEEK HIS FATHER AND PRAY: We see, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ humanity in the emotions displayed before He faced His death that saved believers. I’m grateful that Jesus was 100% God yet 100% man and could relate to our emotions but without sinning. The picture of Him here, greatly troubled, in distress, in extreme anguish and His words to His Father in these verses (Matthew 26:36-56) show me how near He was to us as a human walking the earth. He related to us. He felt. In His darkest moments He sought His Father. And we can too.
Read His Word Daily. There are so many Bible reading plans out there to get you started! Or just start with the book of John- it’s sure to ignite a fire for more of Jesus.
Memorize His Word. Psalms 23 is a great place to start! Search the Psalms and find a few verses that speak to you, print them off and meditate on them, memorizing them with your head and heart.
PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. Set aside time each day or once a week to do some major praying and even fasting. Pray while you walk or run. Get on knees and pray… Write down requests, go through your phone list or family members and pray for them. Ask the Lord how you can be His Hands and feet during this time, perhaps with a family member, neighbor or friend?
HE WOULD HELP OTHERS, HEAL OTHERS, PRAY WITH OTHERS AND TEACH OTHERS
Healthcare Workers: You are in scary but unique positions to be the hands and feet of Jesus. On the front lines, holding peoples hands, caring for them, helping them get better, praying with them, being with them when they are healed either here or in death. YOU ARE BEING JESUS. Keep it up, we are praying for you! Draw your strength from His never ending well of hope, love and grace.
Pray with others–call a friend and pray! Have you ever done it? It’s beautiful, meaningful and God is in the midst even if you can’t be.
Teach children: We have such a unique opportunity with our children right now. I’m reminded of Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them with you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” To teach them His Word, We must know His Word and be in it for ourselves. Study it together! One verse a day, one chapter a day, family devotionals or based on their ages, Bible studies for them. We have loved the resources at http://www.notconsumed.com
HE WOULD BE FULL OF ALL THE HOLY SPIRIT OFFERS
1. Peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control.We cannot have these fruits walking in our flesh, we must die to self, surrender to His grace and giving of these things to our souls. His Word tells us these attributes of Him are available through His Spirit. And He will supply our every need (Philippians 4:19). I don’t know about you, but I am in desperate need of the Holy Spirit these days. I’ve seen all too much of my many bends to everywhere but Him. This is all hard and we need something bigger than ourselves to walk steadfastly to come out of this time better than when we started it.
One final truth about our Lord is He is not a God of chaos or fear (1 Corinthians 14:33, 1 Timothy 1:7). So anytime we are experiencing either, know they are not of Him but can be corrected and calmed by Him. I’ve felt much chaos and fear during this whole pandemic and that is so natural and common to man. The Lord sympathizes with us in our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15) with compassion and holds out His hand to help us. He is calm not chaos; faith not fear. Thank You, Jesus.
So. Not sure if I really answered any of my specific questions, maybe with more research I could come to a better conclusion on Jesus and social distancing, but for now, we can practice these things I listed and grow in Him during this time. We can be, as Jesus was, about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49b) and be renewed, our families can be renewed and flourish in Christ no matter what is going on around us. There’s nothing He wants more for His children.
Today we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from His death on the cross. What a glorious day then, and now.
To resurrect means to revive, restore to life, raise from the dead, breathe new life into, renew, awaken, wake up, renovate, rejuvenate, and my favorite: to bring back into use or existence after it has disappeared. What a beautiful word with such meaning.
Scripture tells us Jesus not only WAS resurrected, but He IS the Resurrection.
This means He is our revival. He is the One who can restore our lives and relationships. He can raise us from the dead of our sins, He can breathe new life into us and renew our relationship with Him. He can wake us up from the death of sin and awaken us to new life with Him. He can renovate and rejuvenate our calloused, hardened hearts. He can return to us the joy of our salvation. He can give us hearts that long to please Him. He can roll away the many stones that have piled up between ourselves and Him.
Do you ever find yourself walking in your own strength? Toiling, striving, yet never getting anywhere? Are you tired of trying to keep up with the ways of the world? Tired of trying to fill a void that only the Lord Jesus is meant to fill? Does it seem impossible, as if too much would have to change for you to be made new?
When we surrender, Jesus revives us. He breathes new life into our hearts and changes our desires, realigns our priorities, helps us love others and truly live in freedom. He teaches us about grace- for others and ourselves. He gives us sure-footing and a security the world can’t offer.
Are we walking resurrected, dear friends?
“Awake, O sleeper, arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14
God’s loving plan was always to redeem His Son; God’s loving plan is always to redeem His people. Once and for all but also every day. Because He lives, we can too. Both now and forever.
Today, as we think of the empty tomb, may anything dead in us be revived. May stones be rolled away, and our hearts awakened by His Spirit. May the miraculous, mighty power of Jesus’ resurrection stir new life, love and healing inside of each of us. In Jesus name I pray.
Love you all,
(This devotion is from my church women’s ministry page- wanted to share with you all too)
For years, the kids* and I have worn red on Good Friday…here’s why. Hope you will join us! #loverunsred2020
Tomorrow is Good Friday. The day many, many years ago Jesus Christ sacrificed His perfect, blameless life for our salvation and redemption. One man, one act, one horrific death for any and all. It’s hard to comprehend! I can’t think about that day without recognizing the significance of Christ’s bloodshed on the cross.
We all know what blood is, it’s the red fluid continuously circulating throughout our bodies composed of vital nutrients and transporting them to and from our organs. It gives us life and without we cannot live…interesting, huh?
“For the life of a creature is in the blood…” Leviticus 17:11
In the Old Testament, God required animal sacrifices for the temporary forgiveness of sins. Can you imagine? I think it’s all I would be doing, sacrificing animals to live in a brief moment of freedom, a temporary time of forgiveness…wow. Just wow. I’m so grateful we live on this side of the cross, this side of the last blood shed for our permanent forgiveness…and then I think of what it cost and I’m overwhelmed and cannot believe I am loved so much– we all are!
“…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22
With blood we have life, without it there is death. Through Christ’s blood, poured out on the cross, we can truly have life and freedom. His bloodshed wasn’t a temporary act like an animal sacrifice, but was and is a permanent reminder of our forgiveness of sins. Of grace being enough; of Christ being enough.
“…and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in Heaven, by making peace through His blood shed on the cross.” Colossians 1:20
From the beating with the whips, to the crown of thorns, from the holes nailed in his hands and feet suspending Him on the cross, to the final pierce in His side, the weight of the sins, sadness and sufferings of the world were laid upon Him, one man, our Savior, Jesus. With each drop of blood that fell at the foot of the cross, each drop that rolled off of His brow, we are forgiven. We are given grace. Grace undeserved but given anyway. We will continue to struggle with sin and sufferings until we meet our Savior face to face but no more is there a need for blood to be shed, just blood to be remembered and received. Oh THANK YOU JESUS!
Love runs red. On that dark day years ago and until He returns, His love runs red for each one of us. Tomorrow we honor Him and remember His sacrifice by wearing red, won’t you join us!?
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:7, 8a (NIV)
*Not all children will grasp the cross and what wearing red tomorrow truly means, but it’s never too early to start teaching them about the importance of Good Friday, Jesus’ sacrifice for us, sin and Heaven. Pray for God to give you wisdom in speaking to your children on a level they can better understand. There are several tools out there that can help, too. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Resurrection Eggs (LOVE LOVE LOVE these. They visually teach the story from Palm Sunday to the Resurrection. My kids love them too!)
I was going to wait until Good Friday to do this but it’s perfect for any day this Holy Week♥️ Bacon alighted just right in microwave or on stove turns into a Bible lesson at breakfast ♥️ I’m sure a lot aspects of the cross are difficult for children to grasp (ummm me too!) but we can teach them John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 and explain that God loves us and sent His perfect Son to die in our place. But it didn’t end at the cross! The cross saves us and the Resurrection gives us Eternal Life ♥️🙌🏼 If you do this, please tag me or #baconcrossforkids ♥️ 🥓♥️
You think, surely that’ll never happen. I mean, how many times do we get in our safe spot for a little while then pop back out and all is fine? The kids play and think it’s fun and exciting. We send pics to family saying “we’re in our safe spot 🎉” almost making jokes about it. You see it happening to other places and hate it for them and pray for them but maybe don’t ever think it would ever really happen to you.
But no one is immune to tragedy.
And never again will I go in that safe room again without thinking of last night.
Our community was hit by an F3 (I think?) tornado that ripped through the heart of it.
I sat in our safe spot with the kids and did NOT remain calm. We watched live coverage from our news team (shout out to them for being awesome and remaining calm) on Facebook (Thank You, Lord for Facebook)
I couldn’t belive my eyes when I saw the tornado forming and quickly touching down. Coming out of nowhere. But when I started seeing debris flying up in the air circulating with the clouds, pieces of our town blown up and scattered around I could not keep it together. I screamed and yelled at God to make it stop and to forgive us of our sins and briefly I thought it might quit but it didn’t. For miles it kept going and for what felt like minutes I kept begging God to make it stop. I really don’t know what all I was praying. I reminded myself at one point I’m the mom keep it together! But I was far too gone for that. Watching in disbelief, our town demolished; So much destruction so fast.
Wondering if my husband was ok. The kids asking if he was ok. “Of course he is yes daddy’s fine.” He better be fine, God! (He was although we didn’t find out til later; and the tornado initially touched down right by his office where he was hiding under the stairs).
My 8 year old was the adult and suggested we should maybe all calm down. Great idea, son but my body won’t let me. Shaking so badly.
Soon it was over but we were a mess and so was our town.
Seeing the videos, pictures and news coverage we are still in disbelief but amazed that NO ONE was killed. They are reporting only 6 minor injuries.
Amazing. One huge praise.
Another praise is that had we not all been quarantined to our homes because of COVID-19, sooooo many people would’ve lost their lives. So many. It hit a ton of restaurants and shopping areas that would’ve been so busy on a normal Saturday night. So thank You, Lord, for your provision in that. THANK YOU.
When I saw the debris flying I think I thought it was probably taking people up with it and my mind couldn’t make sense of it. Obviously, this tornado only scattered debris. Thank You, Lord. Buildings can be replaced. A life can’t. So grateful.
Another praise— the people have come together! It’s beautiful, humbling and as if socially distancing hasn’t already (oddly enough) made us all grow closer, THIS is showing what our community is all about and it’s each other.
Gods Word says to love Him and love others. I see this happening more and more lately, don’t you??? God’s people are rising, people are seeking, praying and drawing near to firm foundation; because all else, as we are seeing, is sinking sand.
We can praise Him in this storm. We can praise Him in any storm.
He is still good He is still faithful and surely He is coming back soon. People get ready.
Please pray for our community and those that lost homes and businesses. Please pray for revival and for all to come to know Him during this time.
One being happy, grateful and excited to be home bound with my family, to be slowed down and paused from the business of life. The other, looking out and around, and being so fearful of COVID-19, what’s coming for my community, what if we get it and what if we die?
Am I alone in these two paradoxes??
I know I can’t ignore what’s going on but I cannot live in fear either. So with each fear, I must turn to God.
I listed 4 fears above and will list them again below with what God’s Word says and what I can replace my fears with. We fight fears with faith and faith comes from God’s Word.
1. Fear of COVID-19 ~
“The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
2. Fear of the future ~
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
3. Fear of contracting the virus ~
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. HE will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
4. Fear of dying from COVID-19 ~
“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.” Psalms 23:4
“For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
“You saw me before I was born. Everyday of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalms 139:16
So today when I find myself afraid, I am going to acknowledge the fear and knock it down with the Truth of God’s Word. If you want to join me, I’ve designed a print off for you to put where you can see it so His Words are ever before you. Just right click to save it and print it off if you would like. Remember, too, His word never returns void! We need His words going on in our heads and being present before our eyes, not the many fears we can find ourselves battling with the current situation.
A prayer for today~
Heavenly Father, I praise you in all things. I lift my hands to you in prayer and beg you to stop the spread of this virus but, God, mostly may we just know you and be filled with your Spirit so we can walk in faith and not fear. Steady our hearts, today, Oh God. You are the only one who can give us peace. Help us to trust in You no matter what. You are good, we praise Your Holy Name. Thank You for Your Son. It’s in His name I pray, AMEN.
I prayed to the Lord and He answered me, he freed me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4
We had a tea party yesterday and all dressed up. The boys were super hero’s and my daughter and I put on old bridesmaids and pageant dresses. I couldn’t breathe and they wouldn’t zip on me. Ha!
I didn’t intend for it to be a Bible lesson but it was— we talked about Colossians 3:12 and what is most important to clothe ourselves with. Greater than any costume or dress, it’s most important to put on compassion for others, kindness for one another, humility in our hearts, gentleness in our words and actions, and patience in all we do.
I needed this as much as they did. Hope everyone is doing well ♥️
Happy Sunday, friends! Happy National Day of Prayer for our country in this state of emergency. I hope we will all spend more time talking to God today than we talk about this virus. I hope we look at His Word and seek His face above the latest news and information being tossed our ways. I pray we would humble ourselves, surrender our fears and lack of control and let God be God.
Three things to remember as believers in Jesus:
We are the Light of the World
Isaiah 60:1 says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”
Matthew 5:16, “let your light shine before man.”
This light the Lord gives is full of grace, truth, hope and peace. This light is inside of us believers and followers of Christ!
We are a City on a Hill
Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
When we walk in this light, we will stand firm in uncertain times. We will have peace in the chaos and others can be drawn to the Lord by our faithfulness.
We are Set Apart to Pray
2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by My Name would humble themselves, pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.”
We are set apart for such a time as this to PRAY for our nation, our world. For hope to spread, for healing to be present in hearts and of course in health. But even if the healing just comes in our hearts and not in eradicating the coronavirus, He is still good, still working and always worthy of our faith, hope, love and adoration.
Christians, it’s on us to pray. Let’s get on our knees today and show our children where our trust is.
I just watched the 20/20 special on this deadly virus and got an alert from the Weather Channel that there have been more confirmed US deaths… panic and fear began to rise but I want to take the path of freedom from fear that God offers us with His spirit and His Word. Watch video for the verses that I am clinging to during this time! (Also- it’s 2 Timothy 1:7, “the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear but one of love, power and a sound mind.” I butchered that reference in the video!).
Heavenly Father, You are good. May we never forget that. May we believe it to the depths of our beings and walk in it. Help us to not fear or panic but to trust in You. The only One who can offer true peace and freedom from our fears and circumstances. I pray in your Mighty Name for this virus to be contained and stopped dead in its tracks! May we spend more time praying than worrying. May we show a lost and broken world who You are as we rise up with love and faith. I pray for mighty miracles, healing and health but if not, you are still good, faithful and worthy of our everything. Help us to focus on Your Word and nothing else, to replace the fears and lies with the love and truth from Your Holy Word. Spirit help us. In your name I pray, amen!
With Lent right around the corner, I though I’d re-post this from a few years ago.
I had a sweet friend text me about adding something to her day during Lent, something she can read to learn more about Jesus and the Bible. I loved her desire to not just give up something to enrich these 40 days, but to add something to grow in her faith.
Here were some of my suggestions:
~You Version Bible App has a great 40-day Lent reading plan that takes you through the gospels. I have not done this reading plan, but one can never go wrong adding time to read the Bible as one practices Lent; after all, isn’t the purpose of fasting to turn our hearts towards Him? And isn’t that what He is truly after, our hearts? What better way than to get into His Mighty Word!
The book of John is another great place to start! It has 21 chapters so you could read one chapter a day then pick another book to read. Romans and then 1 John would be good follow ups and there are others too! Let the Lord guide you on this and He will!
~Rick Warren’s the Purpose Driven Life is another 40-day devotional book that can change your life. It answers the many questions of our true purpose on Earth and living out the Greatest Commandment and Great Commission.
~Prayer. Prayer is a huge part of fasting, taking our eyes off ourselves and the things of this world and focusing on God. Fasting isn’t always easy, but if we praise the Lord and pray Scriptures when we desire what we are fasting from, it will help us avoid what we are giving up but most importantly take our focus off of ourselves and onto Him and His amazing sacrifice for our souls. Again, isn’t this the purpose of Lent? Let Him hear from you, He loves it!
~Memorizing Scripture. Focus on one a week or maybe just pick one to meditate on during the 40 days of Lent. There are so many to choose from but one of my favorites is Zechariah 4:6, “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord.” Especially in the realm of fasting (and raising kids ha), this verse can help get our focus off of what we want with His help. His Spirit is unending and overwhelming inside of believers! Let’s put it to good use!
I have to admit, I have never officially practiced the 40 days of Lent, but I enjoyed reading and researching more about it from various denominations viewpoints.
I have no doubt that God can work in amazing ways anytime we turn our hearts toward Him, get in His Word and pray. What an exciting time Lent can be and it doesn’t have to stop there! May we continually seek the Lord every day of the year. 🙂
Although I dragged my feet for quite a while, our daughter officially has a cell phone. She’s 11 and was one of the last of her friends to get one. I know it can be a good thing, but as her mom, I want to educate her on the dangers and set it up safely.
I recorded this video before she got her phone and forgive me for saying “you” so many times– I am ALWAYS preaching to my own heart and self before preaching to anyone else! Watch the video, and then read below…
5 ways to guide and protect:
Set up filters and restrictions
Disney Circle: Love this! You can set time limits, downtime, see search history and much more. I highly recommend this to protect your home WIFI and devices. CLick here for more info.
Apple restrictions in phone: When a child is added to family sharing, there are many restrictions/filters that can be put into place. From allowed websites, content restrictions, time limits, installing/deleting apps, etc… I had someone at the AT&T store guide me on this.
Remove Gifs– I just realized you can do this! (go to the “…” in the bar below a message, you can remove or add certain apps (like photos, app store, animojis etc..) -I love this feature!)
When Joe White with Kanakuk Kamps spoke at our church years ago, he talked of drawing up contracts with children. I felt a cell phone was certainly a place that needed clear boundaries in a contract. Here is the contract we drew up with our daughter. You are welcome to take and use whatever you like for your children as well and feel free to let me know of anything I might have left off!
Take phones up at bedtime
If left to their own devices, I know my children would have a hard time putting the phone down to go to sleep. We have set downtime which turns almost all apps down but I still want the phone with me during the night. Kids need sleep so badly. You can read in the contract the downtime hours for us.
If having a sleepover, communicate with the other children the rules of the house–no cell phones past a certain time. Take them up (depending on kids ages) or have them put them away.
Teach Phone Etiquette (more of this in the contract above)
Be mindful of what pictures are taken/sent…once it’s out there, it’s out there
THINK: Is it true? Helpful? Inspiring? Necessary? Kind? Think before sending/taking/texting
Be kind. Don’t gossip on group texts. (group texting is a feature that can be removed if needed!)
Answer the phone when parents text or call
Always wrap up a call with “BYE”
Say NO to social media (Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, etc…)
Kids can’t drive until they are 16, vote until 18, gamble, drink or smoke until 21, rent a car until 25 and yet social media is “legal” at 13. This to me is way too young for these sweet, innocent hearts and minds that aren’t fully developed. The bullying that takes place, the FOMO, the availability of porn, the addiction of likes or comments, etc….
To whom much is given, much is required. My mom reminds me of this often, and I’m grateful! A phone is much, therefore will require much from us and our children
Each child is different- don’t just get a child a phone (or social media) because all of their friends have one
It’s ultimately our phone and we are lending it to them
We are not powerless when it comes to our children and electronics. As parents, we are in charge of their cell phones
Use the phone as currency. Chores must be done, grades made, good behavior at home and school, etc… or phone is taken away
Have a “grounded” phone to be used if main phone is taken away. A flip phone or a GABB phone would be great. (we actually looked into the GABB phone and may consider it for our “grounded” phone or other children if we need to strictly get a hold of them It seems like a great device!)
I am not an expert, I’m learning as we go. I want to share this information to help others navigate electronics in this day and age. I know they are kids and may be able to find loopholes or ways around things, but a constant prayer on my lips and in my heart is that anything hidden in the dark would be brought to light. I can trust the Lord to do this, so grateful!
Heavenly Father, because of your love, presence and Word, we are not alone in our parenting- I praise you! You have blessed us with our children for just a short time, may we be great stewards of them always. May we diligently pray for them and their friends as they grow up in a place where too much can be accessed and known too soon. May we grant freedoms according to each child, letting You help us discern that which is pleasing to You and good. Father, I pray You would continually shine light on any darkness in my life and my children’s’ lives. Keep them safe and smart. May they long to do Your will. May the phones we use be used for Your glory. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.