Monday, September 30, 2013

I am a servant

I am a servant.

A servant of Christ.

A servant to my husband.

A servant for my kids.

A servant of my home.

I am currently reviewing a book, Women Living Well, by Courtney Joseph.. It comes out TOMORROW, October 1st. I would highly suggest adding this to your books to read.

This book has been life changing. She is so powerful & speaks Truth about the world us ladies live in & our biblical roles. She was so bold to step out in her faith & say some of the things she has said in this book & it is all biblical truth. 

Let me reiterate, this book has been life changing. I have seen changes in my life already. I have seen changes in my relationship with Christ. My husband has seen changes in me & has mentioned it to me. The ways I am dealing with my children have changed. My view on life, this world, everything, it all has changed.

From a book.

There has been no other book other than the Bible that has impacted me this way. 

I will touch on a lot of things in future posts, but I really want to focus on being a servant because this is the one that has hit me like a ton of bricks.

I was completely aware that I am a servant for Christ. I would say most believers do believe this. But my view has broadened of this... I am a servant for my family. And being a servant of your family glorifies non other than our Yahweh!!

I kid you not. Yesterday I was cleaning toilets & in the past year I've gotten in such a great routine cleaning I don't exactly "complain" about it anymore. But just this weekend I've realized what a JOY it is to clean my 3 toilets for my family & any of our friends that come to our house.

Profound right? I get joy cleaning toilets!! But the whole time I was pretty much excited talking to God in my head thinking, if no one else did this.. My family wouldn't have clean toilets to sit on, they appreciate clean toilets, they may take it for granted as I do too, but without me we may not have clean toilets! Now now I am not saying my husband is lazy & wouldn't clean them if he had to, I am just saying for me as a woman, this is what I feel like my role is. Making my house clean & comfy for my family. I want our house to be a house we really call home. 

So next time you are cleaning your toilets, instead of thinking.. Not again, this is such a drag, I hate this.. Think I GET to clean the toilets for my family. 

"What makes a home a haven? It's not the things we have or the things we do not have that make our homes havens. It's you, my dear reader; you are the key to making the home a haven." -- Courtney Joseph, Women Living Well 

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Friday, September 27, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Reads - Christian Book Review

I love to read!  With two busy little boys entertaining me day and night I can't always find the time so it's a treat when I get to sit down and enjoy a good book.  Below I'll share with you some of my favorite Christian books, including a quote from the book and a little bit on why I like it...

1) For Women Only ~ Shaunti Feldhahn

"Men want to show us how much they love us and long for their women to understand what is going on inside, even though they sometimes can't explain it well.  More than once I have seen men tear up as they read the draft of this book, moved by the though that their wife might be able to -or want to- understand them."

This is the most recent book that I finished and I must admit that I cried at the end!  The author, Shaunti Feldhahn, did extensive research with thousands of men to find out how men really feel - who they really are on the inside.  Some of the information was not necessarily new to me, some blew my mind (hello chapter 5)!  Really it gave me a renewed appreciation and sensitivity for the man that my husband is and an understanding of how much he really depends on me as his wife for his self esteem and emotional well-being.

It's broken up into 9 chapters and is a pretty easy and quick read (it took me two days).

Chapter 1: Lightbulb on!
  How I Woke up to What I Didn't Know About Men

Chapter 2: Your Love Is Not Enough

  Why Your Respect Means More to Him than Even Your Affection

Chapter 3: The Performance of a Lifetime

  Why Your Mr. Smooth Looks So Impressive but Feels Like an Impostor

Chapter 4: The Loneliest Burden

  How His Need to Provide Weighs Your Man Down, and Why He Likes It That Way

Chapter 5: Sex Changes Everything

  Why Sex Unlocks a Man's Emotions (Guess Who Holds the Key?)

Chapter 6: Keeper of the Visual Rolodex

  Why It's So Natural for Him to Look and So Hard to Forget What He's Seen

Chapter 7: Chocolate, Flowers, Bait Fishing

  Why the Reluctant Clod You Know Really Does Want Romance

Chapter 8: The Truth About the Way You Look

  Why what's on the Outside Matters to Him on the Inside

Chapter 9: Words for Your Heart

  What Your Man Most Wishes You Knew About Him

2)  Piercing the Darkness~ Frank E. Peretti

"Tal scanned the horizon and could see the thick hedge of angelic warriors that surrounded the town, sealing it off from demonic invasion.  They were there to serve the saints within, responding to their prayers, widening doors of opportunity to minister.  The town was not perfect, not without problems; it still had its taverns and turmoils, its scrapes and its sins.  But the Lord was working in Ashton, its saints were praying, and for Sally Beth Roe it was safe."

Piercing the Darkness and its predecessor, This Present Darkness, are two of my all time favorite Christian novels!  The books center around fictional battles between good and evil, on earth and in the heavenly realm.  The author's vivid imagination of how the Lord's angels and the Devil's spirits look, act and speak are captivating.  We get to see what is happening on earth and how simultaneously the spiritual realm is responding.  I often visualize the spiritual realm as exactly how I've read it in these books, picturing the mighty warrior angels surrounding a city or a room in a house!  I love how, as in the quote above, the story shows the heavenly hosts grow stronger as the people on earth gather to pray and alternately how areas in the grips of darkness and sin have a much stronger presence of evil spirits.  If you love a good read as much as I do you won't be disappointed with this one!

3)  The Case for Christ ~ Lee Strobel

"'I'll be honest with you," I said to Metzger. 'When I first found out that there are no surviving originals of the New Testament, I was really skeptical.  I thought, if all we have are copies of copies of copies, how can I have any confidence that the New Testament we have today bears any resemblance whatsoever to what was originally written? How do you respond to that?'"

This book is a classic book on apologetics.  I actually found this book at a thrift store and bought it out if curiosity.  I was quite surprised at how eye opening it was to me and how much I learned about my faith that I had never known despite being a life long believer in and follower of Christ.  If you (or someone you know) have hard questions about the Bible and who Jesus was, like the one above, this would be a great book to check out.  It was written by a self-described atheist who set out on a journey to find out for himself whether there was any merit to Christianity after his wife came home one day and told him that she had become a Christian.  He was disappointed at first until he began to see the changes that had taken place (for the better) in her life.  Being a reporter, he decided to go on a search for facts to support or refute the legitimacy of Christianity, and after two years put his findings into this book.

4) Rekindled ~ Tamera Alexander

"Larson's heart pounded out an erratic rhythm.  He blew out a steadying breath.  Kathryn's gasp at seeing him had wounded him more deeply than he could have imagined.  Certain she was gone, he raked his hands over his face.  He didn't know which hurt him more - her reaction to him or the raw truth that she hadn't recongnized her own husband."

Aghhhh!  This book, I can't say enough about how much I loved this book!!!  This is a romance novel better than any I've read.  I find it hard to find a romance novel that is clean and not crude but that also makes my heart pound and eyes tear up.  I could not put this book down.  It takes place in the mid 1800's, a story of a husband and a wife, unmet expectations and a journey of discovery.  There are unexpected twists that will keep you turning the pages and wanting more!  

5) The Five Languages of Apology ~ Gary Chapman & Jennifer Thomas

"Without apology, the offense sits as a barrier and the quality of the relationship is diminished.  Good relationships are always marked by a willingness to apologize, forgive and reconcile.  The reason many relationships are cold and distant is because we have failed to apologize."

I would imagine many of you have heard of the book, The Five Love Languages?  This book is written by the same author.  The Love Languages concept had a huge impact on me and the way I strive to relate to my husband so I thought just maybe it would help us in the area of apologizing (not one of our stronger points)!  The information in the book is laid out so simply - it is quite an easy read - and it just makes sense!  The basic concept is that we each speak different "languages" when it comes to apology.  While one person might simply need to hear I'm sorry to really feel the apology is sincere, another person may need to hear, "I know I was wrong, would you please forgive me?"  The book gives many examples of how couples or co-workers or friends got stuck in a conflict because they truly felt that the other was not genuinely sorry.  According to the book in one survey 75% of couples spoke different apology languages!  This means that 3 out of 4 couples needed to learn a different way to convey their apology to make it meaningful to their significant other!  Here are the 5 basic languages of apology:
1) Expressing Regret, "I am sorry"
2) Accepting Responsibility, "I was wrong"
3) Making Restitution, "What can I do to make it right?"
4) Genuinely Renting, "I'll try not to do that again"
5) Requesting Forgiveness, "Will you please forgive me?"

6) Choose Joy - Because Happiness Isn't Enough ~ Kay Warren

"Then I wonder, if all of creation sings, why don't I?  If the trees, the flowers, the oceans, the mountains, the clouds, and the animals are praising God's name every day, why don't I -the crown of his creation- sing praise to him?  Do I hold back my songs of praise for trivialities as small as no parking space at the crowded mall?  My hair didn't curl the way I wanted it to?  It's raining?  The price of gasoline went up again?  All of God's works sing for joy before him, and when I meditate on what he has made, on his stunning abilities as the maker Creator, I too sing.  I too shout for joy!"

This book...  This book had a huge impact on me just a little over a year ago and ever since, "choose joy" has been my mantra.  At the time I was going through some trials in my life (which I wrote about here) and realized that I had a choice to make.  I purchased and read this book as my church was doing a message series based on it.  I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever faced any trials of any kind in life (um, hello... EVERYONE!).  Kay writes from such an honest place and is so encouraging about being intentional when choosing our attitude towards life.  We ALWAYS have the ability to choose joy and the Lord longs for us to experience joy in our lives - the fullness of his joy, not just situational happiness.

*** We would love for you to share with us what your favorite Christian books are! If you've read a book that you would like to share with us, leave us a comment... it might just be the next on our reading list!!  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thankful to be Blessed

Today marks one week since my husband, our son, and I moved into our new house in Indiana. I have been unpacking boxes non-stop it feels like and searching for things all the time saying, "I know it's somewhere around here... probably in a box." My body is sore and tired from lifting and moving and placing. I've been fighting a cold and sinus infection along with a one year old's teething and cold. My mind just wants to tune out from the unpacking and whining. Yes, I've complained. But I continuously am hearing God remind me through it all to just be thankful for my blessings.

The Bible talks about being thankful, giving thanks, and thanksgiving numerous times throughout Old and New Testament. David writes in Psalms, "I will give thanks to the Lord", "we will give thanks, for your Name is near", "give thanks to Him and praise His name." 1 Thessalonians says, "give thanks in all circumstances."

Philippians 4:6 spells out exactly when and how to be thankful, "Don't be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God." God knows us - He created us! He knows we will complain, whine, be tired, not be content, worry, etc. And so He says through The Word to come to Him with those anxieties and complaints, but to also do it with thanksgiving in our hearts. Thanksgiving is the "cure" or antidote to worry.

Being thankful reminds us of all the blessings we have. It's like flipping a switch in our heart. When we are complaining or worried, turing on that "thankfulness switch" is like God saying, "Remember when I took care of you in this time... see how wonderful your life is... look at all the blessings you've been given... do you know how much I love you and care for you?" It's hard to complain when we remember how much we've been given.

In the next few days, I'm challenging you: Every time you want to complain, even for the littlest reason, stop, flip that thankfulness switch, and remember the blessings you have given. Be thankful to be blessed.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Choose Joy

~Psalm 19:14~

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of me heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.

Choose joy. You may not feel it, but God has appointed it.

Sometimes we have to choose to be joyful. God created us to be emotional beings and he made no mistake in doing so. The choice is ours, go with the flow of our emotions not having any control over it or we can choose to obey God and honor him with the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts, our emotions. Sometimes that is not easy. But guess what!!!! We have Yahweh on our side! He is our Rock! He stands strong and firm when we feel weak. Lets melt at his feet. Break our walls and let him in! Let's honor him in all we say and do and FEEL!!! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Live in His Presence

Live first and foremost in my presence.
Gradually you will become more aware of Me than of people and places around you.
This awareness will not detract from your relationships with others.
Instead, it will increase your ability to give love and encouragement to them.
My Peace will permeate your words and demeanor.
You will be active in the world, yet one step removed from it.
You will not be easily shaken, because my enveloping Presence buffers the blow of problems.
This is the path I have set before you.
As you follow it wholeheartedly, you experience abundant Life and Peace.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. -- Psalm 89:15-16
I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. -- Psalm 16:8
-Jesus Calling

Monday, September 23, 2013

Guest Post - Stop, Look, Listen, & Obey

When I started my blog, Peace it all Together, in April 2012, I had no intention of being a person of influence. I simply wanted a place to share my stories of family and faith, and the struggles and blessings that came along with them. However, as time passed, and I got more and more comments about how my words and posts encouraged others, I became more convinced that I was being an influence, despite what I had planned. As a result, I have become more intentional about being a person of influence, and have found the following to be helpful... 
STOP - Life is crazy. Busy. Intense. Or, maybe that's just for me. If I don't stop once in awhile, if I just keep going through the days without thinking of anything except the next item on my to do list, I will miss the opportunity to impact people in a positive way. Living in constant movement. It's how can I go weeks without talking to a friend, without even realizing it. Influence requires stillness.
LOOK - Once you've stopped, the next task is looking. Search your surroundings and your contacts for someone who needs something. Maybe it's a meal, a kind word, or a note on their dashboard. If you take the time to really look, you will see the need. It will be evident.
LISTEN & OBEY - Even when we have stopped and have identified a need, we don't often listen to that still, small voice that is nudging us. In order to influence we have to act. We have to be in tune with that voice and follow it's pleas. For me, that voice comes from God. It is only because I began listening and obeying His voice that I have been able to provide encouragement and support to others, even when I didn't feel worthy or capable of doing it.
The bottom line is we are all influential in one way or another. But, being a person of influence is not only about what I do, it is about being ready and open to what God wants to do through me. We can just let it happen or we can be intentional about it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Guest Post - God's Perfect Timing

Hi all!  this is Julie... I'm spending some much needed time with my family in Kentucky this week so you all have the priveledge of hearing from one of Girl's of God's Heart's favorite guests, Sybil!  Enjoy!

Hello, friends! My name is Sybil and I blog at Peace it all Together
I am a wife, mother, and follower of Christ. My blog centers around my family and my faith, and how I search for peace and balance in the everyday. My passion is to share encouragement with and inspire others. I hope you are both encouraged and inspired by this post.
Time. It is something I never seem to have enough of. Something I try to manage down to the last second, just to maximize it. This is why I prefer to go to Target at 8am on my weekday off instead of at 3pm on Sunday afternoon. Or, why I am often checking my email in between seeing students at work. Lately I have heard, read or experienced things that have caused me to think more about God's timing. His timing is always perfect. He never gets it wrong. All through scripture, you see phrases like, "at the time I have planned" or "when the time is right" and "at just the right time." A couple of weeks ago, I found myself discouraged with my Bible reading. I was so behind in my reading plan and felt like a failure. I was supposed to be leading a group of women through the Bible and I couldn't even keep up with the reading. Despite being discouraged, I continued reading. I was amazed at how what I was reading, the passages I should have read weeks before, were just the ones I needed, THAT day. Not the day or week before, but that day. It didn't matter what day I read the passage, God still spoke to me. God's timing is faultless. I read a post by a friend on Facebook recently. She described a near-miss accident she had experienced. She had been waiting at a stop light. When the light turned green, and it was her turn to go, her car stalled. She could not move. Just at that moment, a semi-truck ran the red light, speeding through the intersection. Had my friend's car not stalled, she would have been hit by the truck. God's timing is without flaw. Several months ago, there were many stories circulating after the bombing at the Boston Marathon of people who "should have" been at the finish line when the bombs went off, based on their typical race time or pace. So, why did they slow their pace? Because, it was God's timing, not theirs. His timing is free from error. Everything in our life runs under God's time. But, it is in those odd or surreal experiences where we seem to recognize it the most. Have you ever had any of these types of experiences, which can only be explained by God's pure and best-suited plan? Email me your stories, here.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time...He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. - Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11 (NLT)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


This week  God has really been speaking to me about guarding my heart. Have you ever thought about how good things in your life become too good? Sometimes too good is bad. These are called idols. 

Idol-  anything in the visible, created realm that begins to operate in a role that should be reserved for God.

You know what I'm talking about. When shopping is no longer just a fun thing every now and again. When your significant other becomes the only comfort. When food is no longer nourishing but unhealthy and stuffing after we are full. See all of these things are "good"! Food, relationships, and entertainment. But when we can not think about anything else and red flags start flying up, we know God is trying to tell us we are replacing Him. God is so forgiving. Even in the midst of us, either knowingly or not, turning our backs on Him he brings us back and loves us unconditionally! Ladies we need to start calling idols what they really are, IDOLS!! But don't fret! Just guard your heart and trust Yahweh, our Father. His love is so deep and strong and He wants us to focus our attention on Him! 
Matthew 6: 33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

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Monday, September 16, 2013

My "coffee & Jesus station"

I am like the most non artistic person there is, seriously. I think Teryn takes the cake on our blog for the most artsy. Her projects are so adorable. My house is somewhat lacking in the homey touches or the decor.

The other week I saw on Instagram a little coffee & Jesus area in her kitchen & I thought to myself, okay I can accomplish this! So I did.

You know the phrase, "All I need today is a little bit of coffee & a whole lot of Jesus." -- Whoever came up with this, GENIUS.

How true is it that we fuel our bodies with coffee to get us through the day (well for us coffee drinkers)? Our body should be fueled by Jesus, with a side of coffee.

I set off to find a printable & The Yellow Pineapple blog had one for free! So I printed that one off, got a wood frame from Michaels, painted it, & put that print in there! And then I added a little mason jar with some cute little straws to add to my "station". And if you are going to ask if I drink coffee through a straw, the answer is no, unless it's cold & from Starbucks. BUT they do say drinking through a straw helps prevent coffee stained teeth!! Whatever it is, I just wanted a pretty little touch. Not to mention I got some straws for different seasons too :)

I hope you have an amazing Monday & a blessed week!

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Friday, September 13, 2013

I Am His

YOU are the beloved of the Lord!

Your promise for today:

“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.”

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What if finishing well means... Not finishing?

In my bible study, Gideon by Priscilla Shirer, that I am doing with Tiffany, we learned about finishing a race. Some races you run alone from beginning to end but in relays you must pass the baton on to the next person. In life we have some of the same situations. Sometimes God calls us to complete a task on our own but other times He tells us our part is accomplished and we must pass the baton on to someone else to complete the task. I got to thinking about it and how hard is that ladies? Especially in today's age when women want to be independent and show men and other women that we can do everything! It is good we accomplish tasks but sometimes that isn't what God really wants from us! Sometimes He wants us to do our part then let someone else finish:] 

Let's take David for example. David really wanted to build a house for God. But God sent Nathan, a prophet, to tell David that one of his successors would build God's house instead. David had a choice when hearing this, either respond selfishly and hang on to the baton or prepare it to pass on! Here is what happened.

1 Chron. 22:11  "Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would."  

v.14   "I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them."

v. 19   "Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the Lord God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the Lord."  

29: 2-4   "With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God - gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble- all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents of gold and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings."  

David did everything he could then happily passed on the baton to his successor Solomon. David didn't build the temple but he prepared for it. "Had David not done his part, Solomon could not have successfully done his." He knew that when God wanted him to stop his part of the project, even when the project wasn't finished. Do you have a task God wants you to start and later pass on to someone else? I pray that you will seek his will and see the seeds you have planted whenever God tells you your part in the task is over!!:]

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The enemy is a thief.

There are days where the Enemy tries to steal my joy.
It's a fight.
I say no, come against thoughts, pray harder, yet there is still the enemy trying to make his way back into my head.
I know I have the authority, and I use it.
The devil is a persistent sucker.
His game plan and joy stealer is called COMPARISON.
We as women are constantly comparing ourselves to other women.
A HUGE way that we do this is PINTEREST.
I have a confession to make...
Pintrest is stealing my joy.
I'm comparing my home, my crafts, my clothes, jewelry and makeup.
I don't have the plates arranged with gorgeous food.
My photos aren't as great as the "pin worthy" pictures.
My home isn't spotless and clutter free like the pictures we see on there.
Everything isn't organized gorgeously and in it's place.
I have a "junk drawer."
I'm constantly comparing the way my home is decorated.
I change, change and change some more to strive for pinterest perfection.
Do people come over to look at my home or for dinner parties everyday?
So why I am stressing over all these things?
It's because I don't feel good enough.
The enemy is using pinterest to steal my joy.
I'm comparing every little detail in my life and now feeling unworthy.
No d├ęcor is satisfying.
Enough is enough!
I declare that the enemy can not steal my joy!
So, what did I do?
I'm staying off of pinterest for a while.
God thinks I'm wonderful, beautiful, and talented.
He doesn't care if my home is perfect or if I have the perfect chippy paint on my furniture.
He doesn't care what color the walls are or what pattern my accent wall is.
He doesn't care what piece of art on the wall is DIY or if I sewed my own curtains.
All he cares about is how much we love Him, how much time we spend with Him, the priority we place on our relationship with Him and how we are working for His kingdom.
He loves me and that should be enough to make me happy.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Set your mind on things above and not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2

Monday, September 9, 2013

The day I punched the devil in the face

It's Sunday morning. I wake up by both kids coming into our bedroom snuggling & begging for me to get up. My husband gets up & gets ready for work, I take the kids downstairs & begin our day.

The day started great. Then there was yelling, crying, fighting, my husband left for work, my attempt to get ready in time for church & then milk & cereal all over the kitchen floor. I handled it with ease but already felt defeated & it was barely 8am. 

Then I lost it. I broke down, crying because I literally felt like my 4 year old & 2 year old defeated me today. My thoughts running through my head were how am I going to go to church a mess like this? My make up probably looks ruined. I can't go to church now I will be late.

Then I thought, my kids didn't defeat me. I am letting the enemy defeat me. I literally felt the devil pulling me away from going to church. I felt him telling me, I don't need to go because you are a wreck. Who wants to see you at church? All these negative things made me literally want to punch him in the face. So I did. I pulled myself together & we got in the car & drove to church.

Now, if you've read any of my posts in the past you know my son (the 2 year old) has a difficult time with me leaving him in the toddler room to go into church. And this morning, it was worse than ever before. I literally gained a 25 pound necklace hanging from my neck. He was crying. I was humiliated & then tears started to flow down my face. Oh dear God please tell me what am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to leave church & just go home? Am I supposed to just let my son behave like this & walk away? 

Again, I felt the enemy still trying to pull me away from the church service. And I knew why. He didn't want me to hear the message, he didn't want me in there worshiping his biggest rival because he knows that if I do.. He loses again. And he did.

So I left my son there screaming. I knew it'd only last for a short period, as it always does, but this morning was a lot different than any other morning. 

I walked into service, worship already started but I took a deep breath & realized how at peace I was. I know that Henry has to learn, it's the repetition of it. One day he will go in with ease. And then to hear what our church service was over...

God's Provision When Times Get Tough. How do we handle ourselves when things don't go accordingly? How do we deal with things in the middle of a troublesome situation? Do we let God lead the way & depend on Him, or do we flip out & take matters into our own hands?

The choice is ours. And today my friends, I chose to punch the enemy in the face & take God's hand.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

True Peace

When you are reading something do you ever feel like the words on the page are literally jumping out at you?  This happened to me recently when I was reading a passage from Stormie Omartian's book, The Power of a Praying Woman, (which I highly recommend if you haven't read it!)  The chapter was about bearing the fruit of God's spirit and the particular section was on planting the seeds of peace.  I don't know about you, but with the political climate being so focused on peace and the lack thereof around the world recently, this issue has been on my mind.  I'm not going to comment on anything specific politically but rather share with you what has really spoken to me about peace in my own life.

The section I was reading says, "Plant seeds of peace.  Pray that the presence of the Lord planted in your life will provide peace that is beyond comprehension.  Pray that this peace will grow strong and prevail no matter what your circumstances are.  'The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus' (Philippians 4:7). We can only have true peace if we live in right relationship to God.  Pray that God will help you to know His peace in such a powerful way that it brings peace to those around you."

The line in bold letters above is what jumped out and kind of hit me smack in the forehead!  Y'all, we've got to be following the Lord if we desire real, legit peace in our lives!  Last night the girls and I were sitting around the table discussing our Bible study and one of the girls mentioned something that illustrates this point beautifully.  She said, "you know, I was having a really hard time sleeping at night for quite a while.  Then I mentioned to Tiffany that I felt like I really needed to get my relationship straight with God and she invited me to Bible study.  Ever since that time, I have been sleeping at night again!"  I don't know about you but I think that's super cool!  She felt like there was something that the Lord really wanted to get her attention about and when she finally figured it out and responded, she began to experience peace!

Do you ever find yourself lying awake at night just worrying, or even for no apparent reason?  Ask the Lord to reveal to you what it going on.  Is there someone that you need to be praying for?  Is there something that he is asking you to be obedient in and you're not acknowledging it?  I know when someone challenges me to be living in a right relationship with God I tend to bristle a little.  Obedience is a scary thing for many of us because we may feel a certain amount of guilt over ways that we've failed to follow the Lord in the past (or even currently).  This challenge is not about being burdened by guilt but about beginning to ask the Lord to show us how to be obedient.  Ask the Lord for forgiveness for the ways you've neglected your relationship and then begin to pray each day that He will show you how you can have peace in your life.  If something in one particular area (or more) of your life is out of whack, so to speak, it can be robbing you of the peace you are meant to have.  Some of you may know exactly what that something is.  Others may honestly have no idea.

Stormie says, "It's important that you keep asking God what He wants you to do.  If you don't ask, you won't know.  It's that simple."  I've found that I am so good at asking God for what I want but I often forget to ask the Lord for what He wants!  Sometimes in that still quiet moment in the middle of the night when I can't sleep I have the presence of mind to ask God what He wants, and it's in those moments when I suddenly understand.  For me it's often to pray for someone specifically or to pray for a circumstance in my life that I have been neglecting to pray for.  The Lord knows that I will hear His voice when there are no other distractions (and He knows how easily I am distracted!).

The enemy wants to steal your peace.  He does this by lying to you, by distracting you, by keeping you trapped in sin and separating you from the Prince of Peace.  Do not give him this power over your life.  Do not let him win!

If you are struggling to feel real peace in your life, reach your hand out to the Lord and ask Him for help!  As your life becomes more aligned with the life that the Lord has called you to live, you will begin to experience the real peace that only comes from the One who created you!

Psalm 37:36
Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; 
for the future of that man is peace.

Proverbs 3:1-2
My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands;
for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.

Psalm 119:165
Great peace have those who love your law and nothing can make them stumble.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Jesus Loves You

This childhood Sunday School song may be very familiar to you. Like me, you may have sung it as a kid learning about Jesus long ago... you might also sing it to your children now. These simple, short little verses may be easy to recite, but there is also power and comfort in them. Have you ever stopped to really think about the words? To sing them to Jesus yourself and feel them? Slow down today and when you need to be reminded of how you are loved and cared for, think of this little song. This little powerful song.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.  
Little ones to him belong; 
They are weak, but he is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! 
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me—He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me—loves me still,
Though I’m very weak and ill;
From His shining throne on high
Comes to watch me where I lie.

Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me—He will stay
Close beside me all the way,
Then His little child will take
Up to Heaven for His dear sake.

Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!

Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Methods of reading the Bible

Recently someone has asked me how to read the Bible. It's taken me awhile to find an answer to that question. There isn't one solution, there are many, everyone is different. Whether you've been in the Word fifty years or are just beginning, each of us are at different stages in our lives. If you haven't noticed... the Bible is rather large and might be a little intimidating or overwhelming at times. We get stumped with "Where do I begin?" or "What should I read or reread?" 

The important thing is when you find a method of study you like, commit to it. Some different methods are: Reading books, chapters, and verses in depth, trying to understand where, when, who, how and why. Another method is reading the Bible in a year and there are many different ways you can do this. I've done one where you read a little from the old testament, part of a psalm and some of the new testament! You can read it straight through or my personal favorite, chronologically! I'm so OCD I have to read it in the time order that it actually happened otherwise I get confused:] For any of these you can just search online for reading the bible in a year and there are many different ones. Get a Bible app on your smart phone! I like the ESV Bible app. It is free and doesn't use data so you can use it at home and on the go. 

I encourage you to spend time in the Word every day. That may mean waking up five minutes earlier to open your  Bible or not checking your email, facebook, instagram or whatever to make time for Yahweh! Get in the Word ladies:] If you don't know where to begin or are in need of a new way to study, ask! There are so many resources out there today. Find what works for you!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV -- All Scripture is breathed out by God & profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, & for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Psalm 119:18 ESV -- Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. 

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Refresh your mind

Let the dew of My Presence refresh your mind and heart.
So many, many things vie for your attention in this complex world of instant communication.
The world has changed enormously since I first gave the command to be still and know that I am God.
However, this timeless truth is essential for the well being of your soul.
As dew refreshes grass and flowers during the stillness of the night, so My Presence revitalizes you as you sit quietly with Me.
A refreshed, revitalized mind is able to sort out what is important and what is not.
In it's natural condition, your mind easily gets stuck on trivial matters.
Like the spinning wheels of a car trapped in mud, the cogs of your brain spin impotently when your focus on a trivial thing.
As soon as you start communicating with Me and the matter, your thoughts gain traction and you can move on to more important things.
Communicate with Me continually, and I will put My thoughts into your mind.
Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. -- Psalm 46:10
For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.-- 1 Corinthians 14:33 NKJV
-Jesus Calling

Monday, September 2, 2013

God is our Ultimate Provider

I love sitting in church & hearing a sermon you just need to hear. Actually, I've gotten to the point where every sermon I hear I needed that. I love when I hear God speaking to me. 

This week my dad is out visiting me. And my last post about my dad {here} he lost his job. I prayed & prayed over this sermon before we went to church, please God let it be something he hears from You & understands. And he did. 

I love seeing prayers answered. Don't you?

My dad has been fortunate enough to already get a new job & he starts this week when he gets back from California! My family is so thankful that he has been blessed by a new job. But it will still be a trialing period.

God is our Ultimate Provider. Is He yours? He provides for us with what we have & on His time. When something happens in your life that is a hiccup, the unexpected, or something we just flat out don't like.. Where do you turn? Do you immediately turn to God? Or do you turn to a friend? Or an addiction? Or just escape reality?

Psalms 34:4-5 NASB-- I sought the Lord, & He answered me, & delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him & were radiant, & their faces will never be ashamed. 

God wants us to trust with Him in every circumstance, this includes the hard times. When we trust Him, He will provide for us. We need to demonstrate faith to receive His blessings.

Remember God always has a purpose through our difficult times. And in those difficult times we most likely are learning the most. 

Psalms 34:17-18 NASB -- The righteous cry, & the Lord hears & delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted & saves those who are crushed in spirit.  
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