“Doing Good In A Hurting World”

“Doing Good In A Hurting World”

Broken, Heart, Love, Relationship

Good Morning Dear Friends,

I am writing this on a Friday morning and thinking about all the current news. I have also been working through all my emails and articles that are sent to me daily. Now when I say articles…I mean Christian articles/devotionals.

With that being said….I saw this title (article’s title) in several places. So it made me stop and think. I have recently been working through some things….as we all go through in life. After 5 years of emergencies, emergency rooms, ICUs, funerals, paperwork beyond belief and a very very messy (literally) home, 2 weddings, first grandbaby, etc. And now we have all kinds of new things in this world to deal with. WOW!!

For me the last 5+ years I have lived in a place of the squeakiest wheel gets the attention first….or the most medically or even financially critical. And all I could thinks was….soon I can get back to my life!! That was the carrot before the donkey for me!!

Hmmm….now that has that changed? Every day lately we wake up to hear the current medical scares (politcal scares, world issues) and look at…well honestly frightening maps of doom! WOW…what do we do?!!!

I don’t really have much to offer…but Jesus does. Jesus was the most incredible person literally on this earth. He is God’s son. He exampled how to love and how to help.

Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t have that special touch to heal those who are literally hurting….though I wish that could happen….and so do my knees!! 😉 But I can do a couple of things Jesus demonstrated. I can show love, compassion, mercy, faith, hope…

I can also go the the garden to pray. Our Lord created in our lives here on this earth a way to talk to the Lord!! We do not have to go through a priest, a book or even any special formula. We can just ‘talk’. Isn’t that great!!! I know it sounds simple….but it is true. Our prayer life is a special gift from the Lord.

When Jesus hung on the cross he literally paid the price or the penalty for our sins. In the old testament that meant an animal had to be sacrificed for atonement for sin. Then Jesus came to this earth and He chose to pay that price for our walk with the Lord. We just had to believe in Him. And literally as He hung on the cross…the veil was ripped in the temple. We no longer must go through the priest and we no longer have to offer a sacrifice!!! WOW!!!

So why do I bring that up now? Well, one of the greatest blessing we were afforded was…prayer. We have a direct line to God. I don’t know about you…I can’t imagine a day when I couldn’t talk to my Savior!!

As a homeschool Mom I remember how impacting the scripture of praying along the way each day impacted me. I also remember telling my children…it’s just talking to God. And finally, my last teaching was…Jesus is with you as you go to sleep each night waiting to talk with you before you sleep. And as soon as you wake up, He is sitting right there waiting to have a chat just with you!!

Though those teachings may sound childlike simplicity….it is true for all of us!! So when we are going through these difficulties…we need to pray. Just talk to Jesus!! He is waiting to chat each day…throughout the day!!

There is a wonderful song by Steven Curtis Chapman that was my son’s favorite song when he was little….Let us Pray. Here’s a couple of lines that stick with me…

“Let us pray, let us pray, everywhere in every way
Every moment of the day, it is the right time
For the Father above, He is listening with love
And He wants to answer us, so let us pray”

1 Thess 5:17, Col 4:2, Eph 6:18, Heb 4:16, Rom 12:12

And also in this particular song…there is reference to how Jesus modeled for us to pray with “the Lord’s Prayer”.

Matthew 6:9-13

Image result for the lord's prayer

 

Let us…think about the things above and not on the things of this earth. (Col. 3:2)

I share this verse…to say…when we are overwhelmed with the thought of all that is going on in the world today….let us keep our thoughts on the Lord. When doing this we can better know ‘when, how & where’ He needs us to serve. We better know this through prayers…loving God (going to the garden to pray…as Jesus exampled) and loving others.

So finally, what does this look like in my life. I have been working so hard “to get all this done…so I could get back to my life”. Guess what, my life has forever changed these last 5+ years. So there is no way of going back. What I must do now, is focus on what is ahead of me. What the Lord’s will is in my life. And instead of mourning circumstances or what has been the cost of these last many years(& yes there have been blessings…amazing blessings)…it is time to move forward.

So some of the things I am working on:

1) Reclaiming my home!! PTL!!! (And fyi…this is not a one weekend venture.)

2) Focusing on the current work list and completing it and not dreaming of the what if’s.

3) Loving and caring for those in the here and now.

4) Saying no to what I should not be doing…even if there is push back. I cannot please everyone all the time.

5) Quit “trusting” those who are not trustworthy and expecting them to live up to what my standards are in life. (Proverbs tells us to walk with wise men….GREAT focus!!)

6) Taking time to develop healthy friendships/relationships as so many were lost over these busy years and just change of life…going from the world of homeschooling, well to not!!

7) Focus on my family…that truly paid the price with me in helping their family/grandparents final days, deaths and enormous work after. Taking the time for my Sweet Husband, children (&spouses) and our new first grandbaby. 🙂

8) Enjoy the journey I am in each day.

9) The most important of all….FOCUS on the Lord and His will in my entire life.

I know this is my list….maybe take a few minutes to write your own priority list. Then my Sweet Friends…let us pray, let us pray…every where and every day…it is the right time!! And let us do good in a hurting world…be that light for Christ!!!

Hugs and prayers…k 🙂

Grandbaby Girl is….

Grandbaby Girl is….

Hello Dear Friends,

We are waiting ready to leave. We have had the call….now just waiting to see what the Dr. says!!

Please be in prayer with us for our Daughter’s safety and health. And prayer for our Little One’s safety and health.

I will not post the 7th Day Bible Journaling in my Bible for the #FGTBJC2019 until Day 14th. My apologies. I was working as quick as I could. The daily camp classes will continue and once all is settled in, I will begin working again at our daughter and SIL’s home after our Little One is here. In between rocking, singing and cuddling our new Little One!! 🙂

Thank you to each and everyone who has stood with us in prayer!! And for all your incredible encouragements!!!

I will post once she makes her official debute and let all of you know!! 🙂

Hugs and prayers….k 🙂

Fall Gratitude & Thanksgiving Bible Journaling Camp Has Begun!!!

Fall Gratitude & Thanksgiving Bible Journaling Camp Has Begun!!!

Hey Dear Friends,

#FGTBJC2019 has begun on JosephinesDesigns.com YouTube as begun!!

It has already been such a blessing!! We have had amazing contributors as well as all our amazing campers!!!

See below the Welcome to #FGTBJC2019 letter as well as the key Bible verses being used in our camp.

Hugs and prayers,

k 🙂

Welcome Campers Email:

Hello Sweet Friend,

I am so thankful each of you are a part of the Fall Gratitude and Thanksgiving Bible Journaling Camp….or #FGTBJC!!! This is a time of our opportunity to love and thank the Lord!! We also get to give Him our gratitude as well!! Aren’t we blessed my Dear Sweet Friend!!!

My Prayer for each of you:

I pray you are encouraged in your walk with the Lord.

I pray you are blessed.

I pray you grow in the Word and your daily walk with Jesus.

I pray that you will hear Him speak to your heart…as He so wants you to know His will for you and know His voice.

I pray Dear Sweet Friend that as you embark on this journey in seeking and knowing the Word that not only will you grow in your gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord…but that you will grow in your creativity that our Creator has blessed you.

We also give thanks to the Lord for these lovely and generous contributors to our class.

You are prayed for and feel free to reach out any time during the class….I am here. JosephinesDesigns.com@gmail.com

Hugs and prayers…Kris “k” 😊

CONTRIBUTORS:

Allie Scraps on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AllieScrapsShop

Move the Mountains on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MovetheMountains

By the Well 4 God on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ByTheWell4God

Sara Borgstede at https://theholymess.com/

Hot Minute Customs email: HotMinuteCustoms@outlook.com

Our Sweet Friend and fellow camper that wishes to remain anonymous for her beautiful bagged contribution in each kit.

My Sweet Husband for all his endless printing.

My Sweet Youngest One for her “Girl Friday” endless help.

Scripture from BibleGateway.org

And most importantly, to our Sweet Jesus for His incredible love, endless grace and His unbelievable sacrifice for our sins so that we could have each a one on one relationship with him.

Our key Bible verses and key words:

Scripture: BibleGateway.org

Amplified Bible (AMP)

A Psalm of David.

138 I will give You thanks with all my heart;
I sing praises to You before the [pagan] gods.

I will bow down [in worship] toward Your holy temple
And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word together with Your name.

On the day I called, You answered me;
And You made me bold and confident with [renewed] strength in my life.


All the kings of the land will give thanks and praise You, O Lord,
When they have heard of the promises of Your mouth [which were fulfilled].

Yes, they will sing of the ways of the Lord [joyfully celebrating His wonderful acts],
For great is the glory and majesty of the Lord.

Though the Lord is exalted,
He regards the lowly [and invites them into His fellowship];
But the proud and haughty He knows from a distance.


Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.

The Lord will accomplish that which concerns me;
Your [unwavering] lovingkindness, O Lord, endures forever—
Do not abandon the works of Your own hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hebrews 12:28

28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, and offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe

 

Genesis 12:8

Then he moved on from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord [in worship through prayer, praise, and thanksgiving]

 

Leviticus 7:12

If one offers it as a sacrificial meal of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of fine flour mixed with oil.

 

Leviticus 7:13

With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread.

 

1 Samuel 2:1

Hannah’s Song of Thanksgiving ] Hannah prayed and said, “My heart rejoices and triumphs in the Lord; My horn (strength) is lifted up in the Lord, My mouth has opened wide [to speak boldly] against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.

 

1 Chronicles 16:8

Psalm of Thanksgiving ] O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; Make His deeds known among the peoples.

 

1 Chronicles 16:29

Ascribe to the Lord the glory and honor due His name; Bring an offering [of thanksgiving], and come before Him; Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

 

 

Nehemiah 12:46

For in the days of David and Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God.

 

Psalm 100:4 [Full Chapter]

Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name.

 

Genesis 4:26

To Seth, also, a son was born, whom he named Enosh (mortal man, mankind). At that [same] time men began to call on the name of the Lord [in worship through prayer, praise, and thanksgiving].

 

Genesis 12:8

Then he moved on from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord [in worship through prayer, praise, and thanksgiving].

 

Leviticus 7:12

If one offers it as a sacrificial meal of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of fine flour mixed with oil.

 

Leviticus 7:13

With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread.

 

Leviticus 7:15

‘The meat of the sacrifice of thanksgiving presented as a peace offering shall be eaten on the day that it is offered; none of it shall be left until morning.

 

Leviticus 22:29

When you sacrifice an offering of thanksgiving to the Lord, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted.

 

 

1 Samuel 2:1

Hannah’s Song of Thanksgiving ] Hannah prayed and said, “My heart rejoices and triumphs in the Lord; My horn (strength) is lifted up in the Lord, My mouth has opened wide [to speak boldly] against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.

 

2 Samuel 15:8

For your servant made a vow while I lived at Geshur in Aram (Syria), ‘If the Lord will in fact bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord [by offering a sacrifice of thanksgiving].’”

 

1 Chronicles 16:8

Psalm of Thanksgiving ] O give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; Make His deeds known among the peoples.

 

1 Chronicles 16:29

Ascribe to the Lord the glory and honor due His name; Bring an offering [of thanksgiving], and come before Him; Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

 

 

1 Chronicles 25:3

Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with the lyre in thanksgiving and praise to the Lord.

 

Nehemiah 11:17

Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, who was the leader to begin the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bakbukiah, second among his brothers; and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.

 

Nehemiah 12:8

The Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah who was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving and praise, he and his brothers.

 

 

Nehemiah 12:27

Dedication of the Wall ] Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites from all their places in order to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with hymns of thanksgiving, and with songs to the accompaniment of cymbals, harps, and lyres.

 

Nehemiah 12:31

Procedures for the Temple ] Then I had the leaders of Judah come up on the wall, and I appointed two large thanksgiving choirs, the first one proceeding to the right on top of the wall toward the Refuse Gate.

 

Nehemiah 12:46

For in the days of David and Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God.

 

Psalm 9:1

A Psalm of Thanksgiving for God’s Justice. ] [ To the Chief Musician; on Muth-labben. A Psalm of David. ] I will give thanks and praise the Lord, with all my heart; I will tell aloud all Your wonders and marvelous deeds.

 

Psalm 26:7

That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders.

 

Psalm 30:1

Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death. ] [ A Psalm; a Song at the Dedication of the House (Temple). A Psalm of David. ] I will extol and praise You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.

 

Psalm 50:14

“Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High;

 

 

 

 

Psalm 50:23

“He who offers a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way rightly [who follows the way that I show him], I shall show the salvation of God.”

 

Psalm 69:30

I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving.

 

Psalm 95:2

Let us come before His presence with a song of thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with songs.

 

Psalm 100:1

All Men Exhorted to Praise God. ] [ A Psalm of Thanksgiving. ] Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.

 

Key Words:

 

THANKSGIVING 

 

THANKFUL

 

THANK YOU, LORD 

 

THANK YOU, JESUS

 

GRATITUDE

 

HEART OF PRAISE

 

PRAISING THE LORD

 

PRAISING HIS NAME

 

PRAISE

 

GRATEFUL

 

GRATEFULNESS

 

LOVE

 

HONOR

 

ADORE

 

ADORATION

 

WORSHIP

 

 

 

 

 

The Weekly Prayer Project…

The Weekly Prayer Project…

The Weekly Prayer Project: A Challenge to Journal, Pray, Reflect, and Connect with God

Sweet Friends,

As mentioned in my chat video on YouTube Sunday, we had packed my Weekly Prayer Project book. It was found…PTL!!!

I spent today in medical appointments. So tomorrow, I pray to get all prepared and video up no later than Thursday.

I am always amazed at all the Lord provides!!

Hugs and prayers…..k 🙂

 

 

A Prayer For Your Week

A Prayer For Your Week

This week, we will look at how God created us to be loved, appreciated and one of a kind. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He also knows that trusting Him is a brave thing for us to do. Sometimes He uses challenges and brokenness to grow courage in us. And sometimes He seems to fall silent no matter how many hours we spend in prayer. It is during these difficult seasons that we learn what trusting God truly means. And it is only through these experiences that we become more and more prepared to shine His light to others.

Let’s pray for the week ahead:

Dear Father, thank you for loving us. We ask, Lord, that you stay close to us this week as we study Your Word. Open our hearts to hear exactly what you have for us. Teach us, as only You can, to place our trust, confidence and hope in You alone. Amen.

Lord, you have examined me and know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts before I think them.  PSALM 139:1-2

Article Credit: Dayspring.com

Post Holiday Fatigue? 4 Scriptures to Help Restore & Renew

Post Holiday Fatigue? 4 Scriptures to Help Restore & Renew

After weeks of whirlwind shopping, family gathering and party planning, the holiday season has come to an end. Anyone else feeling less-than-energized? If so, you’re in good company! When post-holiday exhaustion hits, it can be difficult to find motivation. Care to join us for some much-needed rest and rejuvenation?

Here are 4 Scriptures on rest and restoration to help guide us in the coming days:

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 NIV

Whatever holiday transition looks like for you—boxes of half-put-away ornaments, counters full of dishes, or maybe just a neglected to-do list—there’s likely something crying for your attention. Try giving yourself a little mannequin challenge every once in a while: stop right in the midst of whatever you’re doing—stand, sit, or lie still—and just breathe in God’s peace. Recall His Word in Psalm 46:10. Remind yourself that whatever’s making life feel hectic today, it will get done—eventually. It’ll work out. It’ll be ok. And best of all, it’s not in your hands (even if you’d like to think so!). Let go, and let God work through the rhythm of your life to accomplish what’s needed in His time.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 NIV

The post-holiday season can be a challenging time to keep the “heavenly peace” going in our homes (and hearts!). It’s likely the kids have had way more sugar than they’re used to, we’re all running on little sleep after some late nights, and we’re thrust back into our weekly school and work routines. We may be more likely to snap at one another or say things we don’t mean in moments of frustration. Why not introduce a new post-holiday theme this year called Space & Grace? Hang a sign, tack it up on the fridge, or remind one another during daily prayer. We all need some healthy personal space and extra grace for one another as the season winds down. Sure, it doesn’t thwart every post-holiday argument, but it does bring us a little more peace as we settle back into daily life.

Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NIV

We often wrap up the season with a New Year’s resolution or two focused on trying harder, doing more, or being better at something. What about a different kind of commitment this year? Once a day (or week, or whatever feels realistic) commit to setting aside a few moments for some holy imagination. Find a little time—maybe after the morning rush or as you’re drifting off to sleep at night—to close your eyes and envision a real connection with Jesus. What does it look like for you to receive the love and peace He longs to give you? Envision this beautiful place, laying your head on His shoulder, just being held without words or expectations. Maybe create a sketch or capture a photo that communicates Matthew 11:28 to your heart. Place it somewhere and remind yourself often to respond to His invitation of rest.

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 ESV

For some of us, the after-Christmas blues can be hard to shake. We may be exhausted or disappointed that the holiday “break” is over. We may be dealing with the aftermath of far-from-perfect family gatherings; difficult relationships can often take their toll.

Whatever it is, we can rest assured that God always has a Word for our hearts. As Christmas decorations come down, why not consider a few new ways to surround yourself with His words of encouragement? There may not be an “official” season to celebrate for a while, but there’s always a reason to rejoice. Check out our Scripture-filled home decor and desktop/office supplies; they can be simple reminders throughout the day of God’s presence with you. Whether it’s a holiday or any day, we can celebrate the beautiful truth of John 1:14 NIV: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”

At DaySpring, it is our goal to give you all the tools and resources you need to Live Your Faith year round (not just during the holiday season). We are looking forward to walking alongside you in the new year in your post-holiday fatigue, through the winter blues, into spring, summer, and beyond. Whatever life might bring with it this year, be sure to lean into God’s Word and join us as we continue to come up with new, fresh, inspiring ways to experience and express the life-changing message of God’s love.

Article credit: Paige from Dayspring.com

 

 

Weekly Verses…

Weekly Verses…

Monday
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
At many Christian funerals, the preacher emphasizes how Jesus has left to make a place ready for us to join him in heaven. Then he is going to come back for us. But just a few verses later, Jesus adds this promise. He’s telling us that until we can come be with him at his place, he will come live with us here in our hearts. It all hinges on one thing, our willingness to obey him. Not a bad deal, is it. So let’s not let obedience be a forgotten word in our lifestyle!
MY PRAYER…
Holy God, I know Jesus came to earth and obeyed your will. Give me discernment that my obedience will not simply be the obedience of your words, but will also be the obedience of your will. I long to honor you because you have done so much to save me. Thank you. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Tuesday
We proclaim him [Jesus], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we present everyone perfect in Christ.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Our goal as Christians is not to obey some law, to adhere to some set of rules, or even be followers of some discipline. Our goal as Christians is to be conformed to the character and ministry of Jesus. This is the Spirit’s work in us (2 Cor. 3:18) and as Paul makes clear here and in other places (Galatians 4:19) that this is his goal in working with others.
MY PRAYER…
Holy Lord, conform my heart, my words, my life, my ministry, and my actions to those of Jesus. I want him to be my Lord, not just in my words but also in my life. Through him I pray. Amen.
Wednesday
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
We want the Spirit to be at work in us to make us like Jesus. For this to happen, we must open our heart to the will of God. There are no greater words God wants to hear than “teach me to do your will.” That is what it means for him to be God, to have control over our life and our will.
MY PRAYER…
Almighty God, I want you to truly be God in my life. I renounce any attempt on my part to try to manipulate or use your grace and kindness for my benefit. I submit my will to yours. But Holy Father, I confess that I struggle at times with my own selfish and evil desires that lead me astray. Please forgive me when my heart is cold and my ears are deaf to your will. Please, take control of my life today. Through Jesus my Lord, I ask you to assert your will as God in my life. Amen.
Thursday
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Worthy of respect! What a goal for our lives whether we are men or women! Don’t you want your life to reflect the character of God because our faith expresses itself in a life of self-control. This work of the Spirit in our lives happens only as we dedicate ourselves to being what he is at work trying to accomplish in us.
MY PRAYER…
Father, please strengthen me through your Spirit so that I may gain better control of my passions, my speech, my example, and my habits. Help me put to death the things that would rob me of my spiritual passion and my influence for good to those who do not know Jesus. Through whom I pray. Amen.
Friday
[The Lord says,] “Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
God will not forget us when we’re in trouble or when we are old. We may outlive our friends and be forgotten by those who know us, but God will never leave us or forsake us. He will sustain, carry, protect, and rescue us.
MY PRAYER…
Thank you my Father, for promising to never forget me. Because of your faithfulness to your children of old, I know you will never forsake me. I trust that no matter where I am or where I go, you will go with me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Saturday
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Children don’t need to be taught, they need to be trained. Life is not about intellectual lessons, but about integrating truth into the fabric of our daily lives. God calls us to move our children and their training up on the list of our priorities.
MY PRAYER…
Great and Holy Counselor, help me as I seek to know the best thing to do with my children to share my love and your truth with them. I want them to know and love you even better than I do. Give me wisdom and courage to make wise decisions and tenderness to implement them in my family’s life. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Sunday
The earth is filled with your love, O Lord; teach me your decrees.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Sometimes we get so caught up in the wonders of God’s creation and the marvelous blessings of his grace we forget to ask him to teach us his truth.
MY PRAYER…
Holy and Precious Father, teach me your truth, lead me to your will, and guide me in your wisdom that my life may be a reflection of your plan for me when you made me new in my mother’s womb. In Jesus I ask these things. Amen.
Article Credit: Oneplace.com
How to Have Joy in Any Circumstance

How to Have Joy in Any Circumstance

Guest Post by Gina of GinaMPoirier.com

It isn't always easy to choose joy. Here is how to have joy in any circumstance.“I just feel like I’ve lost my joy,” she told me one day over coffee and a few tears. “And as a Christian, I feel horrible about that.”

My friend was in the situation many of us find ourselves in: taking care of kids (or something else) and trying to keep our acts together while we’re exhausted, overwhelmed and downright cranky about all. And to top it all off, we feel guilty for not being more joyful.

I wish I could have told her the magic formula, something like prayer + Bible study = joy. And there have certainly been times when I have naively thought it should be that simple.

But in response I simply gave her a hug and maybe cried a little myself. Because in truth, life is hard. Joy isn’t always an automatic response just because you’re a Christian.

Yet on the other hand, the Bible does instruct us to rejoice always, in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I mean really, God? (He says yes, really.)

So how, exactly, do we have more joy, even when life is really, really tough?

I’ll try to handle this carefully, since I truly don’t think there’s a formula. But here are a few things I like to remember that help my own heart feel more joy when the circumstances bring anything but.

Related: How to Trust God’s Plan for Your Life

 

1. Look to Jesus

 

I don’t know about you, but a lot of times when I’m dealing with my not-so-joyful emotions I fall into a thought pattern that goes something like this: this is too hard, and nobody understands what I’m going through.

That’s one of the hardest things about pain and suffering: sometimes it does make you feel isolated. Proverbs 14:10 says, “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” But the good news is that there is actually one person who does “get it.”

Hebrews 4:14–16 say that Jesus empathizes with our weaknesses and was tempted in every way we are. And as our friend he gets us and is there for us, and wants to show us the way through our pain (John 15:15).

So in other words, take your pain to Jesus. Pray to him; confess your weaknesses and ask for help. Study his life and his words, that it may increase your faith (Romans 10:17). Sing to him. Meditate on his promises.

Having said that, God is not a genie and doesn’t magically turn your emotions off and on whenever you ask. But I believe he’s the way I must turn when I’m hurting, if I want to heal.

 

2. Fill Your Mind with Truth

 

I’m fascinated with the human brain, and I’m even more fascinated by the fact that the Bible supports a lot of what modern psychology has discovered. In particular, we have the power to change the structure of our brains by redirecting our thoughts.

If you’re in the habit of negativity and toxic thinking, your thought patterns will continue down those well-trodden paths (you literally can get into “ruts.”) But if you are more conscious about what you’re putting your mind to, you will change the way you think.

Scripture supports this (Philippians 4:8, for starters), and Brittany has some great suggestions here: Want to Take Every Thought Captive? It’s Easier Than You Think!

I’ve found that copying Bible verses and memorizing them is a way to keep my mind focused on what is true. (Want some suggestions? Check out the printables I offer.)

Another way to fill your mind with truth is through habitual gratitude. Keeping a gratitude journal is a scientifically supported, biblical way to rewire your brain for joy.

 

3. Reach Out for Help

 

When I think of some of the toughest times in my life, I don’t know how I would have gotten through without the support of the body of Christ. And few things make me smile more than thinking about those who have been there for me when I’ve needed them.

When a part of your physical body gets hurt, other parts of it provide healing by delivering the oxygen and immune support it needs. It’s the same way in the church (1 Corinthians 12:21–26). We need each other through good times and bad, to help us heal and grow through our trials and weaknesses.

I’m guilty of being extremely independent through my pain and struggles, as I think a lot of us are. We come to the church putting our best foot forward, when it should be the other way around.

I’m not saying you should go to worship service a weeping mess all the time, but I challenge you to be bold in your vulnerability. Meet with mentors and peers who can cry with you over coffee, watch your kids so you can rest, celebrate your victories and pray with you through your trials. And if you don’t have these people in your life, go find them. Pray for God to lead you to them.

Related: 3 Truths to Remember When Battling Mom Loneliness

 

4. Let the Holy Spirit Do His Work

 

It occurred to me recently as I was thinking about this that joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). Here’s the thing about fruit: it doesn’t appear magically. It takes time and cultivation.

Jesus is the vine, the Father is the Gardener and we are the branches that bear fruit through the work of the Holy Spirit (John 15:1–8). There have been times when I’ve been impatient and even felt guilty because the joy simply wasn’t there when I thought it should be.

But if joy is like fruit, then that means that it will take time to grow into maturity. It will be more plentiful in some seasons than others. And at times we need to be pruned in order to produce more.

We may not fully understand this process, but we don’t have to. All we have to do is stay in the vine (the steps listed above are some practical ways that help with this), and God will grow the fruit.

 

I don’t know what your circumstances are, but I do know what the Bible says about working through them. And I believe that given time, you’ll find the joy that God calls us all to.

Article Credit: equippinggodlywomen.com

 

They Call Themselves Christians

They Call Themselves Christians

If we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

II Timothy 2:12 NKJV

Soldiers in the Roman army identified themselves with their generals by adding the suffix -ian at the end of the general’s name. Therefore, a Caesarian soldier would be a solider serving under Caesar. In Latin, the word ian means “the party of.” In the early church in Antioch, people began to call followers of Christ Christians, though the use of the name was likely said at first in the spirit of mockery. However, the name stuck and soon believers also began to call themselves Christians, happily adding the suffix to the end of Christ’s name to indicate that they were with Jesus. Early Christians joyfully sent a message to the world that they were followers of Christ, though the message cost many of them their lives. A believer’s life begins at the altar where we surrender our nothing for everything, and sometimes ends on another altar, where believers are forced to decide whether to sacrifice everything for nothing. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Joshua 24:15 KJV).

FAITH CHECK

If you knew that openly announcing to the world that you are a Christian would cost you your job, your standing in the community, or your very life, would you call yourself a Christian?

Article Credit: Linda Kozar by way of Dayspring.com

Hello Dear Friends,

Such great encouragement this day!!

Prayers,

k

Weekly Verses…

Weekly Verses…

Monday
I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
For Christians, God’s temple is one of two related things: either the Christian’s body (1 Cor. 6:19-20) or the group of people who make up his Church (1 Cor. 3:16). Because of the flaws of the people in our churches, many are hypercritical of them. But God’s Church is precious to him and should be to us. Anyone who destroys his church through division will be utterly destroyed. God’s faithfulness to his people is seen in his preservation of the Church through all the ravages and persecutions of history. But God is still the center of the Church and he alone is to be exalted and the Church is still to be governed by his word and not just their own will.
MY PRAYER…
Holy and matchless God, I praise you for your steadfast love and faithfulness revealed in the preseveration of your Church through all of history. I promise to cherish your Church and do all I can to help it grow and mature to be more like Jesus, but I recognize that you and you alone are to be exalted above all other things and that my church must never be more important than your will revealed in your word. Give me the courage to be true to you even if my church may not be. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Tuesday
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Of all the names for God in the Bible, this is my favorite: Him who is able to do immeasurably more. Our God is the same God who parted the Red Sea and fed 5,000 on a green hillside with only a couple of sardine sandwiches. He longs to do more than we ask and imagine, but most of us haven’t really given him much of a challenge. Dream big dreams for God. Then hang on!
MY PRAYER…
Almighty and awesome God, do in our day what you did in past days. Give us faith to believe and then amaze us at the smallness of our faith. Give us vision to see your plan and do greater things. We ask this, not for ourselves or our experience, but for your glory and the salvation of our world. In Jesus name. Amen.
Wednesday
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
God made the world in 6 days. Now he sustains it with his powerful word. But in each of us, he is still at work and will continue to work to his glory (seePhilippians 2:12-13) until Christ comes to take us home!
MY PRAYER…
Thank you Father, for being at work in my life. I confess that at times you seem distant, but looking back over the crucial moments where things were held in the balance, I can see your fingerprints and your grace leading me to where I am today. Please make your presence more powerfully known in my life as I seek your will and live to your glory. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Thursday
Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
In the immense expanse of our universe, with its billions upon billions of stars, where our own tiny blue planet is only a small speck of sand on an inestimable seashore, God knows us each personally. Such knowledge it too wonderful to be true, and yet it is. God has shown us his love in Jesus to remind us that he not only knows us, but he cares for us.
MY PRAYER…
O Great God of the heavens, thank you for caring for me even though I am such a small part of your great work in the universe. Your love is beyond my comprehension, and yet it thrills me to know that in your grace one day I will see you face-to-face. Through Jesus I praise you. Amen.
Friday
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Like Esau, we get so diverted by the mundane things of life, the growling of our bellies, we forget the longer-range view of things. God’s word, his written word the Bible, his demonstrated Word in Jesus, and his proclaimed word in the Gospel, are what can sustain us eternally.
MY PRAYER…
True and Faithful God, through your Holy Spirit create in me a hunger for your word that is much more demanding of life than my hunger for food. I confess that at times I have been distracted by the mundane things of life and have not sought your word and have not nourished my soul. Please forgive me as I pledge myself to be more attentive to your leading and your truth through your word. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Saturday
God exalted him (Jesus) to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
When Jesus is exalted, when his name is praised and his glory confessed, rather than being insulted or blasphemed, God is honored. Praise be the glorious name of Jesus and the grace of our God!
MY PRAYER…
Precious Savior, Jesus Christ my Lord, your name is wonderful! Your sacrifice for my sin was so loving and generous. I am so thankful that our Father raised you from the dead and that through you I will be able to be with God and worship you all of eternity! You are glorious, Jesus my Lord!
Sunday
(Jesus said) “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
Love is not just a feeling, but it is action. For us as believers, the action that most shows our love for Jesus is for us to be obedient to his words and his example.
MY PRAYER…
Father, thank you for showing your love in Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, for showing us how to love our Father by being obedient to his will and word. Today I pledge to conciously try to live in obedience to your will. Please receive my actions, words, and thoughts today as an offering of praise to you. In Jesus name. Amen.