Monday, February 29, 2016

Promises to Hold onto when Someone drives You Crazy!

Do you ever feel that there are people who just seem to get away with everything 
and never get caught or brought down?

Have you ever felt frustrated where you have cried out to God
concerning this person?

I know I have. It maybe a person you know that just rubs you the wrong way. Or a relative or family member that causes problems and no one seems to care. Look at the media and what is on T.V. There are people who it is obvious that they make bad decisions and don't care or have poor character and everyone seems to be ok with them. It drives me mad.

Hannah had the same problem in 1 Samuel 1. Peninnah, the other wife, provoked her and made Hannah's life miserable. But she kept on having children and Hannah didn't. Hannah could have bite back at Peninnah but she draws near to God in a desperate manner or as in verse 10 says in the bitterness of her soul. As we all know, she prays that God could give her a son and that she would dedicate his life to God. God hears her and gives her a son. Hannah names him Samuel and keeps her vow. When little Samuel is weaned, she gives him to Eli the priest for God to work in him and through him.

Hannah then gives us this beautiful prayer of praise and shows us the faith she has in her God who is in control. Second Samuel 2:1-10,

My heart rejoices in the Lord;
My horn[a] is exalted in the Lord.
I smile at my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
“No one is holy like the Lord,
For there is none besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.
“Talk no more so very proudly;
Let no arrogance come from your mouth,
For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed.
“The bows of the mighty men are broken,
And those who stumbled are girded with strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
And the hungry have ceased to hunger.
Even the barren has borne seven,
And she who has many children has become feeble.
“The Lord kills and makes alive;
He brings down to the grave and brings up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
He brings low and lifts up.
He raises the poor from the dust
And lifts the beggar from the ash heap,
To set them among princes
And make them inherit the throne of glory.
“For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
And He has set the world upon them.
He will guard the feet of His saints,
But the wicked shall be silent in darkness.
“For by strength no man shall prevail.
10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces;
From heaven He will thunder against them.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
“He will give strength to His king,
And exalt the horn of His anointed.”
Here are a few promises that we can hold onto when we are tempted to not trust God with that person in our lives. 

~Verse 1 states that our horn is exalted in the Lord. What does horn mean? It means power or strength. It is like God gives us this conscious strength where we can hold our heads up high. Through this awareness of our strength from God, we can smile at our enemies. We can rejoice in our salvation. It is only through Him giving us the power and strength to do so. No matter what that person has done to us or others, we can have strength to trust in our God.

~Verse 2 states that God is one of a kind. There is no one like Him. Because He is the one and only true God, He is our rock, our firm foundation. So no matter what that person does or say, God sets us up high on who He is. We can have faith in that.

~ Verse 3 states that God is the God of knowledge. He knows every single one of our thoughts including that person that drives us buggy. He knows why they do the things they do. Only God can see that person's actions and the thoughts behind them. It is like Hannah was giving a warning to those who are proud because God does know their thoughts behind their actions. We too can hold onto that. He is in control.

~Verses 6-7 states that God is in control of who He lifts up and who He brings down. He is in control of who dies and who stays alive. That person seems like they are getting away with things but God knows when and how He will humble them. He knows what is best because He is in control of all things.

~ Verse 9 states that God is on the side of those who are His saints. He clearly is unhappy with those who do their own thing and they are left in darkness. The point though is all strength comes from God. He is there for those who do His will and He allows those who reject Him sit in darkness.

~ Verse 10 states that God does not allow those who are against Him get away with things. He is actively involved in those people's lives who are not doing His will. He is the true Judge! He sees those who do wrong and shows His authority to them.

To sum it up, God is the true Judge! He knows people's thoughts and judges their ways. He will bring them down or lift them up. We cannot question but we can trust in our salvation and stand firm on our Rock. Because through trusting in these promises, we can smile at our enemies because He is in control of all things.

linking up #tellhisstory, Coffee for your heart, and Thankful Thursday

Friday, February 26, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Morning

Here's to another Five Minute Friday!

I love mornings!

I have consider myself a morning person. I can get up and start the day (most days : ) ).

Three days out of the week I like to work out. I use videos from YouTube. My favorite is Denise Austin or CafĂ© Mom Studios Anything under Be Fit and Popsugar. I can tell the mornings when I wake up earlier and get a good workout in.

 For my Bible study, I allow God to guide me in where I go. I am currently focusing on prayer with a friend who I meet with every Tuesday. I use and the Blue Letter Bible app for commentaries and concordances. For those harder mornings, I use John Piper's app Solid Joys.

Also during this time, God has blessed me with a daughter who can wake up and play and talk in her crib by herself. I am so thankful for this blessing. I also sometimes just enjoy listening to the little gift God has given to me. Of course it is always fun to greet her while she stands up in her crib.

We when come down for breakfast, sometimes we listen to God-Centered Mom podcast or Mom Struggling Well podcast. They are the most amazing women to listen to, filled with encouraging words to start out my day. If I am in a political mood, sometimes I listen to Glenn Beck on the radio : )

There are also other days that my little one and I do a Bible story and craft. Check out our project we just finished on creation. Other times we just sit and read. Here are a list of her favorite books.

As you can see I love my mornings because God has blessed me with a lot of things to enjoy.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Teaching an One Year Old the Bible- Creation

I firmly believe that the word of God changes people's lives. Also, as a new mom, I believe that the sooner you start teaching the better. My little one is 1 1/2 years old. Even though she cannot communicate effectively yet, she gets concepts. I think as a mother it is so important to figure out how to connect with your child in order to teach them from the Bible. Maybe it is through music or crafts or dare I say videos on YouTube. It is just so important to find those things in order to teach them.

So when my little one turned one, I began to try various things she might like. My first project was Truth in the Tinsel for the advent season. I learned that she really liked to color, paint, and glue. She didn't like play doh or markers. Also, she loved me singing songs and reading from The Jesus Storybook Bible.

For our second project I chose the creation story. I picked this because Awana has a book called How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph that focuses on the life of Joseph while incorporating five master life threads. The one that they had for one- three year olds was teaching them respect. I want to teach my little one about creation to show her that we serve a mighty and powerful God who spoke and it just happened. It is establishing how much power He has in our every day lives because He created all things. In return we worship and thank him for that. Now I don't explain it to her like I just did but it simple terms like

"He spoke and it happen! He is so powerful!"

Here is our final results:

I kept it very simple since she has a short attention span. I just helped put the glue on and she placed it wherever she wanted to. For day 2, I wanted to use cotton balls but didn't have any. So I used white yarn and helped her shape them like clouds. She had fun.
Also I used Patch the Pirate IncrediWorld C.D.. Every time I put it on she pointed to her numbers on the fridge.
For our Bible verse, we used the Awana Cubbies Bible verse music app. They had Genesis 1:1 and I would sing along with it. She sometimes puts her finger up knowing that's what mommy does when I say the reference.
It is super exciting to see my little one get things and get excited about it too.
If any of you have ideas on how you teach your little one the Bible, comment below. Honestly I am trying to figure out what story I want to focus on now that still focuses on how God is powerful.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Forget

Here is another week of Five Minute Friday with the word "Forget".

I want to live life not forgetting God's words! Everyday you and I have the choice to not forget what God says in His word.

When we choose to live life not forgetting God's word, we are being led by the Spirit. We are allowing what God says penetrate on our hearts and minds. We are not being just hearers of the word but doers.

How do we do that? Draw near to Him and His word anytime in the day. When you are feeling like you are slipping, stop and pray. He is such a faithful God who will remind us those precious words that we have hidden in our hearts and strengthen us to follow through with what you are desiring to do. We also need to forsake the things of this world and set our minds on things above.

His words are unforgettable and we need to make the choice not to forget them.

Even though that was five minutes, here are some verses that God has laid on my heart to help me not forget His words.

Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way ~ Psalm 119:37

Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing you ~ Psalm 119:38

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness ~ Psalm 37:3

Wait on the Lord, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land; ~ Psalm 37:34a

Monday, February 15, 2016

When You Feel Down and Out

Here is part two of this series where I am going to show you through verses in Hebrews 10 when we need to remember who we are in Christ whe we feel down and out. If you haven't read the first one check it out here

What did Christ do for me? ~

Hebrews 10:9-10, 12  
"...then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.”[b] He takes away the first that He may establish the second.  10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,"
Jesus Christ came down on this earth to die for our sins. He took away any effort from us to be good  and offered Himself up for us. That is huge! That is life transforming! Christ loves us so much that He chose to do this for us. This is something to hold onto.

~ What does that mean for me? ~

Hebrews 10:14,16-17
For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified... “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”[c]  17 then He adds,“Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
When we choose to believe what Jesus did on the cross, every single day we are being sanctified. We are being made in the image of God. His words and teachings are with us always. Through this we are being sanctified. God no longer sees our sins but what Christ did on the cross. Those days when we feel like a failure, we need to remember our sins have been washed away and we are being sanctified. The whole idea that we feel this way shows us that God is working on our hearts.

~ What can I trust in or believe in? ~

Hebrews 10:22-23
let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
When we recognize that Christ died for us and through that ours sin are covered by His blood and we are being sanctified, we can hold onto these promises 

Our Hearts Have Been Sprinkled From An Evil Conscience

He Is Faithful  

Even in Lamentations 3:22-23NLT states that His Faithful Love Never Ends, His Mercies Never Cease, and His Mercies Are Afresh Every Morning. We get a fresh start every day and He will never leave us. Why do we choose to dwell in the down and out times on ourselves when we should be instead leaning on these promises.

~ What can I do? ~

Hebrews 10:22-23
let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
Instead of being sad, we need to draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. What is faith? Look in the next chapter of Hebrews in verses one and six. We need to have hope in things that are not seen or have a heavenly perspective and believe that God exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. 

We also need to hold fast to the confession of our hope. What Christ did for us brings us hope for the now and the future. We serve a faithful God who keeps His promises. He will not falter. He will guide us.

Also I want to add Ephesians 6:10-13
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
We are something different because of what Christ did for us. Remembering this when we feel down and out should lift up our spirits as we release feeling the sadness and accept who we are in Christ. 

linking up with Jennifer #tellhisstory and Holley coffee for your heart

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Limit

Joining once again on Kate Motaung's Five Minute Friday 

In this period of time, I am currently waiting on God to show me His will in my life. I have many passions and ideas but I feel like I am just wandering around occasionally getting snatched up in the things of this world. I don't like feeling this way. I feel limited.

Waiting on God is limiting. I don't know what He has planned in the future so I am limited. I don't know why he has given me the passions to write. I don't why He given me the desire to keep up in politics. Waiting limits me on what I can do.

So what can I do now with what I have? I can choose to find rest in my time of limits.

Because in this time, He will show Himself faithful.

In this time, when I am wandering around, feeling weak, He is strong.

In this time, I can draw near to Him. I can pray and allow the Spirit to move and direct as He intercedes for me.

I can choose in my limits to be obedient to Him.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

When You Feel Down and Out

Lately, I have been going through a time of feeling down and out. It frustrates me, but I know it is perfectly normal. I know God is working in my heart but sometimes that just doesn't help. I find myself fighting the fact that I need to go to God's word and rest in Him.

This is going to be a two part series. Part one's verses is from James 4, which is one of my favorite chapters I go to, that helps me to relate to God when distractions or sins make me feel down and out.

James 4:7-10 says

"Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."

I always go to these verses because of verse eight. It is the promise God has given to me in times like these when I feel distant from Him but know that He is still working in me. But sometimes I think I forget that there are other things I need to remember when I approach God.

Looking at these verses there are things we need to think about and ask ourselves when we feel down and out and longing be near to God in His word.

~ How is your heart? ~

The second half of verse eight and verse nine answers that. Do you have any sin in your heart or mind? When we feel distant from God and draw near God in prayer and to read His word, we need to confess any sins or distractions in our lives. We need to be sorrowful about them and turn our hearts away from them. I like how the NLT version states verse nine

   "Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy."

The things that we do that is not honoring to God should bring sorrow and deep grief. In order to read God's word and be satisfied in Him, there can't not be anything preventing us.

~ Are you humble? ~ 

To submit yourself to God is to humble yourself. When we submit ourselves to God, we are humbly saying yes to Him and that we need His help. In times of feeling distant from God, we might be relying on our own strength to pull ourselves up again. But we can't. We need to acknowledge that self reliance is being prideful and that we need to humbly approach God and realize our need for Him. We are voluntary letting go and submitting to His will.

~ Are you giving into the devil? ~  

 There are also many times when we feel down and out that we are giving leeway to the devil. We are not resisting him. We kinda unintentionally play around with him. When we are not wholeheartedly seeking after God, it makes us weak and vulnerable to the devil or even to the things of this world. Sometimes when I am not giving God my all, I allow things like Facebook or even videos on YouTube waste my time instead of resisting them and resting in God.

It is important to reevaluate our lives when we feel down and out and distant from God. He has never left us. It is us who have distant ourselves from Him. I am just so thankful that we have a God that just continues to draw us near to Him even when we feel this way.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Focus

Participating with Five minute Friday again : )

As a mom, I sometimes wish that I wrote more about being one on my blog. Instead my current focus on here is politics and how it is shaping our world. Because of that, I feel like my audience does not relate because theit focus is their kids and very little to do with politics. But I feel like being a mom and focusing on politics is important. How you ask?

1) We do have some control over their future when it concerns the choices we are making as a country now by being aware of what's going on in the political arena.
2) We can use the current moral decaying of our country and its politics to teach how I country was based off of God's word.
3) We can teach our kids how the government works and that they have a voice by calling their representatives when they need to.
4) It should motivate us to prepare our children by teaching them through God's word on how to survive in this world.
5) It also should motivate us to teach our children that people are lost and don't glorify God and that it is our job as a Christian to tell them to make an impact on our country.

Don't get me wrong focusing on our kids is so important and I love my daughter so much but I guess I am just wanting to challenge you to focus on what it means to be a mom and focusing on politics.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mourning For My Country

Anyone who is actually paying attention and wanting to educate themselves can tell that there is a major split in the Republican party. One side is all about values and conservative principles. The other side just wants to beat Hillary Clinton where those values and principles don't matter. But this struggle is also more than just who likes Ted Cruz versus Donald Trump. It is a serious issue of moral decline in our country. Our only hope cannot rest in just one man.

I believe that there is a bigger reality. It is God who only knows the outcome of this election. He could allow another "Reagan" or He could allow another "Obama". What God wills to do will happen and it will bring glory to His name. This is what I believe.
But my heart is still troubled by the transformation of how this election process has played out. It seems like no one cares about what is right or wrong anymore. It is all about fear and anger and not what is right. People are choosing their candidates by how the candidate makes them feel or their personality traits that make them electable. It is no longer about the issues but how entertained we are or how the candidate moved us in someway. I have given up hope in what's going on but I hold onto that God is still in control of this election process.
Because I believe in God's Word, this should be no surprise to me. God's Word tells us that ALL have sinned. When Adam and Eve said no to God, sin entered world. The world doesn't know anything different. Sometimes I even allow my sinful nature get the best of me and I fret and get angry. But the gospel should be our hope.
The only thing we need to be focusing on is the long term. What is our perspective? Is it fretting or getting angry and allowing our sinful flesh get the best of us or is it the souls of those who don't know any better? How do we respond when we see how things are going in our nation? I long for a heart that approaches people with boldness to show them the gospel. That is what matters. That is what will change this nation if God wants it to change. Instead of being angry at people who don't seem to get it, I need to be reaching out in grace and love. It just starts with one person.
I am challenging myself and you as my reader to find our hope in God and return to His word. Here are a few things I have come up with:
Number One
Pray for a revival in our souls! It starts with us as Christians.
We know God and His Word. We need to pray for brokenness
and to let go of the things we want to hold on to so tightly.
Number Two
Pray for God's will and not what we want! That's hard for me.
The idea of Donald Trump winning makes me cringe.
But if God wills it, He has a purpose and plan through it.
I can't fight that.
Number Three
Pray that we can respond in love and not anger! This is the very reason
why Christians don't get involved in politics. It is so important that we
hold onto our witness but avoiding politics is counterproductive.
As Christians, we need to know what's going on because it will soon involve us.
Number Four
Wait and draw near to God to see what He wants us to do.
I am not saying you have to get involved in a campaign for your favorite candidate.
Think and pray over the gifts that God has given to you.
How can you use them to draw people near to Him? That is what will change
people's hearts in this country. I have been praying about on how
I can share God's Word because I firmly believe that changes lives
Number Five
Get connected with a church. No matter if you want to admit it or not,
life is not going to be easy as Christians anymore. People don't care about
God and His word. We need each other to build each other up but also
to keep each other growing in our faith and keep us accountable.
Number Six
Pray for the candidates who say they are Christians! The ones I know that
profess values are Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, and Marco Rubio.
Ted Cruz has a prayer team that calls in every Tuesday to listen to a pastor
share encouraging words and then prays for the weekly prayer requests.
Along with the phone call, they send out an email that gives prayer
requests and needs with a Scripture. I would be curious about the others.
The church is our only hope. We have God's Word and the power of the Holy Spirit in us that can make a difference in this nation. It is never too late. We just need to focus on the gospel and pray for revival for our own souls. And pray that if it is God's will, we would have a national revival just like how our country was started. 

linking up with jennifer on her page 
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