Happy New Year, Friends!
Y'all have a great year!
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Psalms 57:1-2 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
Homeschool Mamas, Have you ever read other peoples' blogs or FB posts and put yourself down for not being as "good" as someone else? I used to daily read a blog by a seemingly perfect mother of many, many children. But, this week I realized again that we just cannot compare ourselves to others. That mama of ten or so kids was a second-generation homeschooler who grew up with a huge family. For others of us, having several little ones and trying to homeschool is like finding our way through an underground cave with only a small match. Please do not (as I have done) compare yourself to anyone. Rather, endeavor to read the Bible and pray that God would conform you into the image of His Son. Jesus was sinless, but his yoke is easy, His burden is light! Trying to model yourself after some super mama hero might add to your burden and make your yoke heavy. I know this all too well. Keep pressing on, homeschool teaching mamas! Let God be your guide!
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.Phil 4:8-9 (NASB)
Was not planning to post more today, but God is laying this heavily on my heart for a few of my FB friends (and myself): It has been my observation that sarcasm usually reveals bitter roots in a person. Whatever subject you find brings forth your sarcasm, it is probably an area in need of God's healing touch. Ask God to show you where your hurt places are, so you can move forward as a more effective soldier... Wearing scars of battle, not open festering wounds.
There are moments when you have far-fetched ideas of what you could do with your life. What if some of these thoughts are seeds of great faith sown by a loving God who gives more than you can ask or imagine? What if, instead of shutting the valve of hope and creativity, you pray, "Lord, if this is from You bring it about in your timing." Then wait. God will bring it about in His way and His time. Or, He might lead you another direction. But, just because an idea seems impossible is not a reason to ignore it. Our God does the impossible!
It may be a broken relationship. It may be a new career. It may be a desire to reach the world for Jesus or save as many orphans that you can. If your idea is not against anything written in His Word, then keep praying. He hears you. The answer might not be what you expected. But God is better than our expectation. We see through a glass dimly. Keep hoping. Keep praying. Keep seeking. Keep listening. Don't give up on the seemingly outrageous ideas in your head.
One word of caution- Neither let these hopes become an idol. God does not generally operate in the box we try to place Him in. He is God. He is good. We worship Him for who He is and what He has done for us through Jesus. Withdrawing your intimacy from the Lord when He does not provide as you expected Him to could be a sign that you are seeking the gift over the giver. That would be idolatry.
Keep that seed of faith alive. Water it by reading the Bible and by praying. Do not underestimate the possible fruit that could come from one little seed of faith sown in well-prepared ground.
16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:14-17 (NASB)It seems plain to me that where there is "disorder" (verse 16 - which can be translated as "confusion," "tumult," "disorder," or "disturbances"), it is caused by my own selfish ambitions and/or jealousies. Well... I guess that settles it.
WHERE I’M FROMBy Rebecca, age 11I am from God who loves me.I am from Jesus Christ who died for me.I am from peach pie and ice cream, chili and cornbread.I am from home made bread and tacos.I am from gardening, bird watching, fishing, horses, and kittens.I am from climbing trees, swinging, sledding, and running.I am from artwork, photography, reading, and music.I am from writing letters.I am from a family that loves.I am from a thrilling, exciting, hugging, homeschooling, busy family.I am from cowgirl boots, denim skirts, jewelry, and home made hair pretties.I am from all of these things and more.
I am proud of my evangelistic girls!Where I am fromBy Lydia, age 7I am from God. And God loves me.I am from a God who provides for me, and Jesus who died on the cross for me.I am from a family that loves me.I am from a family that homeschools.I am from brothers and sisters who love me.I am from teddy bears, toys, baby dolls, and remote controlled cars too.I am from apples, bread, and ice cream.I am from blue jeans and hair pretties.I am from everything that makes me Lydia.
We were driving down an unfamiliar road today and ran into a dead end. WE all do this in our Christian lives. We don't take time to look at The Map (Bible) and just go down whatever road looks good or feels right. Then, before you know it, you are on a dead end road that turns into a driveway with a forbidden house and a terrible dog (Satan). God will take you back the right way. Just look at The Map. Ask for directions (prayer). God will get you back on track.
Dads, you are making a difference. Your unrelenting love for your wife and children will pay off! Some days you may feel hopeless, but God has a plan. Yours can sometimes be a "thankless job," but Jesus can relate to that. He died for some who still have not yet accepted his love. You are making sacrifices too that some of your children can't understand right now. One day those same children will appreciate you and thank you. You are making a difference!
We were cleaning our yard today and MUCH grieved by all the garbage that is now visible after the spring rains. Similarly, when we submit ourselves to God, His refreshing rains fall on us. Sometimes it reveals a lot of garbage that was formerly hiding beneath the surface. The good news us that when the garbage is visible we can throw it away once and for all. Friend, Jesus died so that you can be saved (first of all) and cleaned up. For the glory of God!
I was going to write, "the sunshine is back," when I realized the sun never left. Likewise, we cannot say God is good only when we are well and wealthy. God is good every moment of every day, whether we acknowledge it or not. It's just that sometimes we let clouds of sin and unbelief block the radiance of His Goodness.
God says - Stop obsessing over what you don't have and be grateful for what you do have. I have given you so much! I gave you my son. I gave you freedom from death, sin, and bondage. I gave you my Holy Spirit to comfort you, lead you, and guide you. I give you more than you can see with your eyes. I spare you from more than you will know this side of Heaven. Stop grumbling and complaining. Be grateful. Praise me at all times. Rejoice always. Sing. Bring me a sacrifice of praise. Keep moving forward. Don't get tangled up in these worries. I give you all you need. Be grateful.
While Paul was cutting up potatoes for breakfast, Jeremiah stood reaching up crying. Jeremiah could not understood why Daddy did not share. How many times are we like that with the Lord. Holding our hands out towards what it is that we want, it looks so good to us. But, The Father is saying, "No, Dear One, it is not the time yet." Paul did not scold Jeremiah for asking for food or for crying about it. Likewise, your father knows you have needs too. You may keep asking, and when the time is right, He will hand you what you need.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.
'You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.'Deut 5:21 (NASB)
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Last night when I went to bed I couldn't see in my room. It was just black. Without thinking, I closed my eyes and walked where I needed to go without bumping anything. I even plugged in my phone to charge. The spiritual analogy is this- when you are paralyzed with fear, because your next steps are so dark, stop trying to see it with your eyes. Just like my feet and hands knew the way in the dark, the Spirit within us can keep moving forward. You can walk in faith. Your hands can do the jobs God has for them. When it is dark, stop trying to make sense of the future, just let God lead you forward in the right path.
Let's say that you have a friend who spent her whole life in the suburbs, but when she grew up she decided to be a farmer and grow all her own food. Do you expect her to move to a farm that year and fill her freezer and root cellar with goodies that first year? Of course not. Well, how many of us expect to do this very thing in our Christian lives? The analogy is far from perfect, but I wanted to get your attention. We can no more become sinless creatures overnight than we can become farmers. There are bitter roots that need removed from our fields, we need to plow the soil and remove weeds. We have much to learn and it can't be accomplished in one day, one year, or one decade. Sanctification is a process. It takes a lifetime. Don't expect perfection from yourself or your friends. The work in you will be completed, just not in one day.
"And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Phil 1:6
One of the blessings of these past years of drought is that farmers were able to enlarge their ponds to hold water and prepare for future trouble. There is a spiritual analogy in that.
If I was to repeatedly talk to my father or my husband without getting a reply, I would feel like I was talking to a brick wall. Yet how many times have I poured out my heart to the Lord and not expected an answer. God is good. Better than any of the human counterparts who, in a blurry way, represent Him to us on Earth. We need to expect that He listens and that He will answer with compassion and tenderness.
I love learning about health and nutrition, but when a book starts talking about healing hypothyroidism by picturing blue and meditating on the universe I put it down and grab my Bible. I will meditate on The Authority (for salvation, godliness, and yes, diet and healing).
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellent, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. PHIL 4:8 ESV
Moms, you are changing the world. Your primary ministry is to love and serve your family. There are days it feels like this season will never end, but the truth is by God's Timeline it is only a breath, only a moment. God wants you to push on and persevere, He will uphold you and give you strength. Your children will rise up and call you blessed if you make it a priority to love them and bless them. You have the potential to change the world!
Lord, give me the strength to do the jobs you have for me. Give me the grace to require of myself only that which You require. Let me judge my life through Your eyes only - not my own, not my friends, not media - Yours. Help me to find pleasure in the journey as You have promised (Ps 16:11), as I abide in You, in Your presence. Help me to bear much fruit as I draw life, strength, and healing waters from Your viney arms of love which are holding me and sustaining me. Help me to continue to stand upon the promises that I find in Your Word. Thank you that I can do all things through Your Son, Jesus, who is my strength and my song.