Thursday, September 29, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Collect - Collecting what is important

Here is to another Five Minute Friday. The word is "collect".

Since I was 12 years old, I have been writing in journals. They are a accumulation of life lessons, prayers, and bible studies I have done. I probably have over 30 of them collecting dirt upstairs in our attic. I hold onto these quite dearly. I have always commented that these would be one of the things that I would like to grab in a fire (yeah ok I know unrealistic but they are important to me).

I think it is important to collect things like this because it tells a story, a story to pass on for others to read. Maybe they will be an encouragement. Or maybe they will give someone hope. I just like the idea of my grand children reading them or someone long time from now finding them in a hidden spot trying to decipher. For others it might be scrapbooking or photo albums since technology is making them extinct. Maybe it is a favorite book series which is also another thing technology is taking away. Collecting these things hold onto what is important and something to share with others that could impact their lives.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How to be Intentional with your Walk with God

As someone leading a new Bible Study (Katie Orr's new study Everyday Peace. You should check it out here), it was brought to my attention that it is important to teach and guide those who you are studying the word with on how to be more intentional about applying God's word to our lives. I am learning that it takes more than just reading His word and then giving someone a question to think about and discuss with. There has to be clear application and you have to be intentional about it. If we don't we are like the person in James 1:21-25 NKJV

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 
 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
  25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
 So how can we prevent ourselves to not become like the man who looks in the mirror and turns away to only forget what he saw?
1) Lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness
When we are intentional about applying God's word to our lives we need to say no to the awfulness that creeps into our hearts. For example, I really want to go to this women's retreat being put on by my church, but I cant find a babysitter for my big kid (you know she is sleeping in a big girl bed right now as I type this). It is kinda frustrating because I really think I deserve to get away which I don't get very often. So my fleshy heart starts getting frustrated with my husband because he isn't trying hard enough to make the time for me to be able to go. Its just one day. But in all reality, he can't and I know that. So instantly (oh how it isn't easy to do that) I needed to take my thoughts captive and give them over to God. That was not and still not a one time deal either. It is a constant laying aside over and over and over again. He is so unbelievably faithful and will meet you there and give you the peace that you need. 
2) Receive with meekness the implanted word
The word of God is powerful, you know. But the key is accepting it humbly. You cant have a prideful heart because that's when we allow filthiness to creep in and we wont be able to hold onto what God's word says to us. When you claim a verse humbling, your heart is softened by its words. As you claim your verse over and over and over again, it becomes implanted. It becomes a promise to hold onto when that situation keeps coming up. The promises are the key.
Another verse that pertains to this point is Philippians 4:6 in the NLT,
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
So in those times when you are tempted to get frustrated or worry about something, give it to God and hold onto the promises He has shown you by thanking Him for what He has already done. This is a huge one for me.
3) Remember that "it will save your soul" and you will blessed in all that you do
When we confess and give our filthiness and fleshiness to God and hold onto His promises in His word, we will be "saved" and blessed in all that we do. The Greek word for saved is sozo which means both to be saved someone from perishing but it also means to make whole and to preserve. The Word of God is there to make you whole and complete. So when you hold onto the same scripture over and over and over again you are making yourself complete.

Holding onto the word of God also blesses you. A little update on my situation for the women's retreat. God blessed me in a way I didn't expect. My husband called me and asked if we could do this one plan by staying over a friend's house so they could watch our big kid. He really cared and it blessed me! I just thanked God that He used my husband to do that. It also came to the conclusion after more talking that it probably is not my season right now to go because my big kid is my priority. Once again He blessed me because I have absolute peace in the decision.

So as Christians, when we are struggling with something, we need to check our hearts, hold onto scripture over and over and over, and open yourself to be made complete and blessed by God.

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

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Five- When I was Five Years Old

Here is to another Five Minute Friday. The word is "five".

As a kid, the world revolved around me. I was clueless to what is going on in life because as a kid I was so self centered. 

My first memories were when I was five years old. We lived in Idaho, on base housing, in this huge cul-de-sac where there was this huge island of dirt and grass in the middle with houses all around it. This is where I learned to ride my bike for the first time without training wheels. Once I got the hang of it, I went in circles around the huge island. Learning how to ride a bike with training wheels was such a big thing. Life was so great.

Another time in that same neighborhood while I was playing outside with my friends Ninja Turtles where I of course was Michelangelo. He was my favorite. My friend and I were fighting the bad guys when mom told me I needed to quit. My friend's mom relative of some sort (don't remember) died. It phased me for like two seconds enough time to get away and continue on playing. Life was all about me.

Now as an adult, I notice things around me. I notice death and getting old. People falling apart physically and mentally. I notice pain and hurting people. People who don't have hope. People who have some hope. People just lost in their sin. It hurts me and as a Christian, I wish I could do more. But I know that the solution to sin, death, and pain is Jesus. It is that simple. It isn't easy for us as humans but He made it easy through what He did. 

So instead of living in my own little world, I need to embrace the world that is calling out to me. What am I going to do? That is something I want to figure out and be more open to.

Ok Just being honest that was more than five minutes but I just couldn't stop. Hope you understand : )

Monday, September 19, 2016

"Help Lord! I need Wisdom!"

The other night we had some friends over to hang out and to spend the night. Since we only have a two bedroom house, our little one had to sleep in our bedroom in her pack and play. We have done this countless times so we didn't expect anything new. But apparently our little one is becoming a big kid. Wisdom was now needed when change happens.

When our big kid is in her own room, she sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night and just sits in her crib talking up a storm. She did it this time too. Usually my husband and I can just lay still or move quietly and she wouldn't even notice but not this time. She is a big kid now and totally noticed it and started to call for my name,

          "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!!"

But this time she crawled out of her pack and play which has never happened before but expected since she is a big kid now. She walked over to the bed and I reached out for her. Our crazy night of much needed wisdom just began.

Since she was awake naturally that means it is time to do what we normally do when we wake up. No not exactly. But how was I going to teach her that when this new found freedom of climbing out of her pack and play was so easy to do? I cried out to God for wisdom. I recognized that this was new for her which is pretty exciting for a two year old but it was bedtime and I didn't want her to take advantage of me.

"How can I show her grace but stick to my guns?
I need wisdom, Lord!"  

And that's what He did. It wasn't easy because we ended up laying in bed for another 2 1/2 hours with her talking and crying off and on but staying in her pack and play.

Later on this incident made me think of James 1:5-6,

 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind
 Maybe you cant relate to this but maybe there is another relationship you have, maybe your husband or a friend, where you want to be able to make the right decision in a hard or frustrating situation. This verse really challenged me in my frustrating situation.  
1) Don't be too prideful to ask God for wisdom
No matter the situation, humbling ask God for what He wants to do. Your ultimate goal should be to bless the other person and for you to learn something new. If you don't ask for wisdom, you might really mess something up or make the situation harder than it needs to be. Plus God wants to help and bless you.
2) Have faith that He will give you wisdom every step of the way
It was so frustrating having been waken up by my big kid. I could have gotten upset and forced her to go back to bed. But instead I realized she was a two year old and I needed to ask God for what I needed to do with faith that whatever she was going to do next, He was going to be there every step of the way. No matter if your situation is a one time thing like mine or a long term one, you can have faith  that in every step and every decision that He is going to give you the wisdom you need. If we doubt because the situation isn't getting better, ask God for more faith in order to trust the wisdom He gives you.
God is a faithful God. He puts us in situations in order for us to grow and to depend on Him. All we have to do is ask Him and have faith that He is going to help you through.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Listen - In the Wee Hours of the Night

Here is to another Five Minute Friday. The word is "listen"

In the wee hours of the night, when I suddenly wake up, thoughts come rushing into my mind. What happen the day before. What I wish I could have done differently with so and so. And so on...That is how God gets ahold of me.

Now I have a choice, I either fight all the thoughts which turn into anxiety most of the time and try to go back to bed tossing and turning. Or I can get out of bed and listen to God.

 I am getting better you know. I get out of bed with my IPad and walk into the bathroom and sit down on the edge of the tub in the dark. Less light means better chance of going back to bed when I am done. Then whatever fear, whatever situation I give it to God right there. I draw near to my scripture lists and read and pray over there. It allows me to stop worrying, stop overthinking but just to listen to God and His words. When I do listen, a peace floods my heart. Its 99.99% chance every time. I am thankful that I listened to God.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Bible Resources I Use

So since a huge part of my blog is gaining Biblical insight through emotions we feel as humans and whatever life brings, I felt like it was important to share what I use and what has blessed me while reading and studying the Bible.

For starters ever since God showed me how real and active His word is in my life and made me see that it is no longer boring as I thought it was, He really has gifted me with just studying the Bible book by book or topic by topic. And it is always something that He guides me to. I believe He can do the same for those who pray to Him to guide them to what He wants. But I just take a book of the Bible and read a whole chapter. With my journal or sometimes notes app on my IPad, I write down observations verse by verse. It is kind of like summarizing it. As I read it and write the observations down, God works in my mind and gives me things to apply to my life. Now don't get me wrong. There are some days where it don't come easy or that I am distracted where I might redo it the next day.

For topic by topic, I look up the word or phrase or idea via concordance. For example, I did the fear of the Lord only in the Proverbs where I learned the reverence we have for God and what He does that brings the fear which then results in wisdom. But seeing how all the verses connected was so cool. Even those times when I feel distracted or going through a rough time in life, whatever the emotion is I look that word up and focus on that for the day. It has been a lot of fun.

But there is also times in my life when I really don't have anything pressing on my heart. That is when I turn to these sources down below. A lot of these are pretty popular but I am going to share what I like about them.

This is the resource I am using right now. The focus of this Bible Study resource is accountability and to help you manage you time. They focus on three elements God, Plan, and Move. The God category is the actual Bible Study that you get to do for the six weeks. There is a free option where they give you a verse and a question. The other option where you pay for the entire study commentary and all. The Plan option is when you plan out your day by things you have to do, the most important things to do, and a tentative schedule of the day. Good for those who like check lists. The there is the Move option which is to encourage to help you plan to workout, drink water, and eat healthy. This system is all based off of grace. It isn't about you completing all three options but to help you be successful on what you can accomplish. You can do all of this by joining a Facebook group or Twitter group of your choice. I enjoy the fellowship and accountability.    

I am also currently using this resource too. I received the opportunity along with other women to participate with her newest study Everyday Peace while being trained by Katie Orr herself to lead my own group later on. This study is for busy women who want to study the Bible more in depth but only have limited time. Hence why it is called FOCUSed 15. Katie has set up the Bible study for you to do it only in 15 minutes using the study method FOCUS which you focus only on one set of scripture for a whole week, peeling it apart layer by layer using different Bible Study methods.   

My dear friend Katie Orr has allowed me to use one of her videos to explain this awesome app.

Here is also other resources that Katie showed since she let me use this one : )

Listening to Sermons
Now everyone can admit that there are times in our everyday lives where reading the Bible is hard to do. So on the those days, I go and listen to a sermon. I don't think that is bad because if the pastor is preaching the word, you might just stop it right in the middle of start studying something he had said. So here are some pastors I listen to who preach straight from the word.

When you click on the link, there is a series of boxes
on the left. click on worship times and a popup box
on the side shows up where all his sermons are at

See if your church records your pastor sermons

On those same days that you don't know what to do or your short on time, check out this app from John Piper. He has it online or on an app. He gives you a verse and then a summary under it. I like to go look up the verse and read the whole chapter and get the bigger picture before reading his commentary on it.

What are resources that you use? Please Please share. I would love to check out some new ones too.

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

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Heal - Broken Hearts

Here is to another Five Minute Friday. The word is "heal".

When I think about the word "heal", Jesus heals our hearts kept coming to my mind. He does. It is only Him who can do it. And only He knows if our hearts have truly been healed. Remember the verse in Matthew 25 that says that when we die that God will either tell us well done, good and faithful servant or depart from Me, I do not know you.  How many people out there that we think have there hearts healed by Jesus aren't really healed? That's a scary thought. As humans it is so easy to do all the right things and give everyone the idea that we are right with God by leaning on our own strength. But what about our hearts? Jesus was obsessed with people's hearts. Why aren't we more like Him? It is as simple as allowing Him to come into our lives as we humbly seek Him because we do do wrong things and allow him to heal our hearts from our sins.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

When it is Hard to Forgive Yourself

So I am very selfish with my time. I am naturally an introvert where being by myself refuels me in order to be around other people. So I hold onto my time probably a little bit too tightly.

This last Friday the little one and I spent most of the day with my mother in law at this cute little environmental hands on center for kids. It was fun seeing the little one running around looking at the birds of prey, turtles (since we use to have one and she knew what it was), and the nasty snakes. It was enjoying to get out for the day. But by the end of our time, I was tired and ready to go home and put the little one in her crib even if she didn't fall asleep. She is pretty good about that which makes me very spoil.

We get home and she was so wound up that even simply putting her in the crib was hard. I told her that she could read her books and just sit in the crib. Well she didn't like that idea and cried loudly for 15 minutes. I was already at the point of exhaustion from the busy week and day and a storm of emotions and frustrations were brewing inside of me. I grabbed my Bible since I wanted to work on my Hello Morning devotion and stormed into her room telling her that mommy was going to read her Bible and she could read hers. Of course as any 2 year old and from the countless times before, she wanted me to read to her. I just grew more frustrated trying to ignore her. But she kept on bothering me. So I left the room in a huff as she started to cry which made me more annoyed. I went to my room and with strong force pressed hard on my bedroom wall. To my surprise I made an indent in the wall. This was not the first time I have done this. My spirit fell and I felt like dirt. Thoughts came pouring into my head, "You haven't done this in such a long time. Why did you have to get so mad? Why cant you let go of time? I will never be a good mom. Maybe I can't have a second one because there will be no time." I was completely exasperated with myself but still very much tired and wanting to be by myself.

I went to go get my little one and picked up her Bible and placed it on my bed next to my own Bible. The rest of the time I just laid there as she played until her daddy came home. But the rest of the evening the feelings of failure lingered. 

At night before bed I read my Bible just to try to readjust my mood. It helped but I still went to bed tired and slightly annoyed.

The next morning I continue to draw near to God. One of the verses from my when I feel like a failure list and my When You feel Down and Out blog post came to my mind (No I am not trying to make you read my other blog posts. I seriously do go back to my posts every now and then because I write these based off of what I struggle with.). And this is what I got from the one verse in Psalm 86:5

 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

" all those who call upon You." is the act of humbly approaching God in our sinfulness. I could have continued on being angry and ignoring my little one but through the help of the Holy Spirit, He convicted my heart and soften it. When our hearts are soften, we are telling God we are sorry. Our hearts our open to His love and forgiveness. 

"...You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy.." is who is there with open arms when we humbly call upon Him. The amazing part of it all is that, that is who He is. It isn't because we humbled ourselves. It isn't because we call upon Him. It is who He is. It is who He is because of what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus dying made it possible for us to be convicted of our sins, to receive forgiveness, and to be able to step forward without any condemnation. 

I then continued on reading my Down and Out post reminding myself that because I am forgiven because of what Jesus did, I need to remember that I am being sanctified and that I need to quit being so hard on myself.  

Linking up with Jennifer #tellhisstory, Holley Coffee for your Heart and Jo Thankful Thursday

Friday, September 2, 2016

Five Minute Friday- Path- The Ultimate Path

Here is to another week of Five Minute Friday. The word is "path".

Everyone has chosen a path that they knew that they probably should not have chosen. I know I have when it came to relationships or even something that I have invested my time into. But does that affect the bigger picture of life? What do I mean you ask? God has a perfect and sovereign path for you and I.

I struggle with this a lot because I have went down some paths that has affected my life. I always wonder what if I went down this path instead of this one. But what I have learned is that even though the path I have chosen was made in a period of time that was not glorifying to God, it was still apart of His plan and He has been glorified in it and I know He will continue to be glorified in it as the future unfolds. I need to remember that His path will always prevail no matter what decisions I have made because He is God and ultimately still in control.

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