Late Night Thoughts…

So it is waaaayyyyy to late to be up right now.

I have no clue why my brain will not shut off!!

I heard an amazing sermon that just keeps replaying parts of it in my head. It was from Matthew 14:25-36…when Jesus calmed the storm.

Here is the part that is keeping me up; remember how incredible it was that Jesus comes to His friends walking on the water, and Peter sees Him and yells out “command me to come to You.” So the Lord replied “come.” Peter threw his legs over the side of the boat, without one small doubt and began walking ON THE WATER to the Lord. It only lasted a little bit, but WOW!! That is how I want to be. Well, not the sinking in the sea part, but I want to see Jesus, listen for His call and then JUMP! No thoughts of worry or “what if” to fill my mind. I just want to be so focused on the fact that my Savior is right there in front of me and has a plan for me. Yes!! That is who I want to be.

I am truly in awe with Peter’s whole thought process that was centered on “You want me? You are going to help me do what the world calls impossible? Right on!! Let’s do this!!” At that moment, the enemy never even stood a chance. Peter knew Jesus. He knew as crazy as an idea might sound to his simple human ears, God was greater and WITH HIM ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. Any whispers of negative were shielded by Peter’s intense FAITH AND TRUST in the Almighty.

Is it just me or does that blow your mind too? Peter, who was kinda a knucklehead, still had tremendous faith! Impenetrable focus on The One. So much so that he SIS what we all would consider impossible! Imagine what we all could do if we really did have that intensity in our faith and focus!!

Oh Christian, I pray we find this powerful faith within ourselves today and MAGNIFY it immensely all for the glory of God!!

Feels like peace

Friend are you content in Christ?

Being content in Jesus is a learned self sufficiency that brings us peace and confidence. It is the knowledge that we are adequate, we are enough, because we have Christ within us.

You know that thought just brought a smile to your face!

It is a blessing!!

We are good because Christ is in us!! We are good!! That is a joy that should shine fourth from us every single day!! It is proclaiming that Jesus is our everything! We will not worry because we know that He has got this. He has already prepared a way for us to walk through and prosper. Through any and every trial, He has been there before us and is there with us at that moment we need him most, ready to hold our hand.

HE HAS CHOSEN YOU!!

That should bring our hearts comfort, courage and the contentment that we all seek! If we can be content in sickness, loss, pain, abandonment, meanness, abuse, and so many other difficult/heart wrenching situations then the people who live without Christ will want to know why and how. It is an open door to conversations. Peace of the believers soul shouts volumes to the tortured.

Praying you are abundantly blessed today my friend.

Have you thought about this?

Love, is a verb, it is an action, a way of living. When we love in our daily lives, we act for whom we love to make their lives better and run much more smoothly. The cool thing is that serving them in that way causes our lives to run better too!

If we all lived with that mentality, to love others the way God commanded, the world would be heavenly!! It is the way Paul the apostle aimed to live. I want to strive to live that way, putting others first. Oh there are days that test me! I do not want to serve anyone! Not even the people I love the most. When I am obedient to God, and serve them anyway, not out of obligation but out of love…it does come back to me. It’s amazing how it can then change my whole day!

from Pintrest

When we allow God in our heart, He can then do a good work through us!! Then we can grow in our love for one another and we can experience joy!

Do You Write in Your Bible?

An honest question.
I know I do. I love to grab my highlighter and use the pretty colors to mark where my favorite verses are in my bible. I put dates next to verses that are truly speaking to where I am at in my life. I mark them as prayers. I have notes written on extra papers in there. I have like 6 bookmarks all for different reasons in my poor bible. One is for Sunday service. One is for Wednesday night service. One is for my bible study. One is for my other bible study. One is for where my daily reading is…okay, so I have 5 bookmarks.

I do not just read my bible, I full on live in my bible.

So I am not sure I am the right person to teach my kiddos how to really get the most out of their bible time. I know, I was taught that you NEVER EVER WRITE IN YOUR BIBLE when I was younger. It just was not done.
I went to parochial school though and we wrote in our books ALL THE TIME! In fact when it was time to buy our books for the next year, let me tell you, those books with the highlighting and notes in them for you already were the ones that were coveted!! When I went to college it was exactly the same way. Who wants a new book when you could buy the used and already find the most important information quickly. All the hard work was already done. I even write in books I buy now. You know how much I truly liked a book by how many pages are marked up, underlined and notes written on the sides. Even the historical fiction that I love to read has little paper tabs stuck to the pages in the chapters that really made my heart swell, tears roll down my face or just sincerely want to hug the character! Am I the only one who does that?

Oh my gosh, like 11 years ago, when I started attending my current church, I remember the Pastor telling us to “If you write in your bible, mark this in your bible’s margin.” Seriously!? I am supposed to do what!? Put ink on the pages of my sacred bible?? Are you nuts?? Isn’t that desecrating His holy Word???

I was dumbfounded that a PASTOR would ask us to do something so out of order. I mean who tells their congregation to openly defile their most precious possession?? There was no way on earth I was going to be able to ever put an intentional mark in my most cherished bible. I had that white leather bound edition since I was eight years old. It was pristine! I was extremely proud of how insanely clean this older than I would care to admit bible was. It was immaculate. Sadly, mostly because I hardly ever opened it. I honestly believed that I was a good christian because I had an old bible that looked like it was new. Oh I knew passages from the beautiful book with the gold edged pages, the same ones every one else knows, like John 3:16, Luke 2:11 or Philippians 4:13. Ask me if I knew what there chapters were about though and I would have drawn a big blank. More than sad right? My heart was in turmoil. I had to do some serious prayer work on this subject…SERIOUS PRAYER WORK.

The next Sunday sermon, I heard the Pastor call us “Bible Students.” What? Oh my goodness. Lord Jesus answered me in a way I would totally understand. When I am in my beloved bible, I am not to just use it for a pretty accessory. It is there to teach me. The whole purpose of The Word is to help shed light upon my path, to give me direction and discernment. It is to impart wisdom and show me how incredible His Grace is. It is to be used and consumed. It is the focus and the answers to my prayers.

I WAS MADE TO STUDY THE HOLY WORD OF GOD AND THEN SHARE IT.

So I dove in. I took my bible and started underlining passages we were studying as a church. The points that really stood out to me. Then I started colorfully underlining as I was going through the Word in my devotional time. Slowly that led into highlighted paragraphs and before you know it my bible was more than my bible. It was my prayer journal, my history book, my study companion, my whispers from the Holy Spirit, my comfort…my world. My bible held my answers to questions I had not even found the words to yet. It was just sitting there waiting for me to explore and truly study the truth written on those pages. It changed me.

No one taught me how to mark up my bible. I just kind of learned my own way as I went. I study with highlighters, post it notes, colored pencils, colored pens, bookmarks and random notes placed in between the pages. It helps me to see the bible as a whole story. I love when I pull out information that is pertinent for that exact moment that might not have been important the first or third time I went over it.

There is a sweet book that just came out that I am using with my youngest daughter, called Journaling the Word: A guide to studying, highlighting, & journaling through the Bible by Caitlyn Burns. You can find it on Amazon or at her website Valued and Esteemed. I believe it is under $20.

It is a great way to start learning the importance of really digging into your bible. It is a walk through the Bible showing ways you can get more out of your studies. She has a ton of great ideas to get you so amped to mark up your bible!! I am ready to buy a new bible and crack it open with many pretty colors and tabs!! .

Page from in the book

I know many of you will still not be on the same page. Trust me, I have friends who cannot stand when people write in their bibles. I totally get it. I just have found something that helps me to study the bible. My way is not for everyone. It is just the way I am wired. I have already gone through the white leather bible…so much so that its pages are falling out. I have given away the second one I had started to a new believer who could not believe that I would share my bible with her. I have marked up the bible my kids got me with so much color and paper!! I love it!! I got a new study bible for my birthday last year that I started using as my prayer bible. Now I have a new bible in a version I have never read before the (in)courage bible. I just put pretty tabs on it and did my first highlights today!! Caitlyn inspired me!!

However you dig into your bible and really get to the meat of it to sit and chew on is the most perfect way you should do it. For me, this works. If you study a different way I would love to hear about it and maybe give it a try too. Let me know :)

Miss Caitlyn Burns is valued and esteemed for sure.

Good Morning Friend!

Today is: Tuesday April 24

Outside is: a bit overcast but has the potential to get warm later.

I can smell: garlic, onions and chicken…

In the oven for dinner: I have some chicken bone broth in the crock pot right now…It has been bubbling all night long! It smell so good!! So I will probably have some kind of chicken soup for dinner!!

Thinking about: Belle is in testing this week. That means my mind is in overdrive praying that she will test well this year. I know she has tons of knowledge in her cute little brain. Sadly, she tests just like her momma. Ask her a question and she will draw a blank every time its on a test. Now if you ask her during a conversation around the dinner table…she will have the answer plus a “PUNNY” comeback!!

Project I am working on: actually I just finished cleaning up some old pot stands that we acquired from some of our older neighbors. She had made them back in the day and then as she got older they got lost in her back garden. They were covered in cobwebs and rust but had tons of potential!! I sanded the rust off. Wiped off all the spiders and webs then my husband spray painted them for me. Oh my goodness are they not so uber cute now!! So retro!! Very late 60’s early 70’s looking and fabulous!! I will have to take a picture and show you!!

Mood today: very pensive. The bombing that happened in Sri Lanka the other day really bothered me. How people can be so evil, kill random strangers for what? I cannot fathom this demonic thinking. I feel such sorrow for the families who are without their loved ones today for no reason other than they went to work or church. It hurts my soul.

What I am reading: I am reading The Hunchback of Notre Dame with Belle right now. Really sad that it caught on fire as we are reading about it. I personally have been reading Hope in the Dark by Craig Groeschel. It is exactly what I needed to be reading. It is exactly what the title promises, hope in the dark. I will say more when I finish it, but so far I do really recommend it.

School Stuff: Lets see…We are learning about the Tang Dynasty right now. Actually all the dynasties are pretty interesting no matter how many times I study them with the kids. We have been adding the geography into our history and really trying to understand the topography of ancient Asia. I already mentioned the literature we are going through. Hunchback is not Belle’s favorite. She liked Jungle book so much more! We are also going through Beauty By The Book by Laurie Cole. It is her first “big girl” bible study and she is really doing well!! She is also taking an apologetics course that she is really excelling at!! Then we still cover all the basics like math, grammar and science. Rebecca is just trying to finish early! She is so ready to graduate!! Just 5 more weeks and she is done!! Oh mercy!! I will have graduated the oldest 3 and only have one left!! Kinda sad, but kinda excited to really focus just on Belle for her last 6 years of school :)

Picture to share: it should be of the plant pot stands I just redid but Blu looked so cute all cuddled up next to me, I am sharing a picture of him instead.

I love this cat

Have a blessed week my friend :)

Sunrise Service

Sunrise Easter Service 2019

Such a beautiful way to start our Easter Sunday.

Early morning service, coffee in my hands, snuggled up in my warm blanket, surrounded by my church family, worshiping our beloved Savior and being blessed by the Word of God.

Something is just so perfect about watching the sun creep up into the sky, listening to the birds start to sing while having your soul filled up with the impacting words of your pastor’s sermon, all while in the presence of The Holy Spirit. So eternally lovely.

Also having the privilege of starting my Easter off with these amazing godly young women was a definite bonus!! Love each of these fabulous ladies!!

Praying your Resurrection Day is abundantly blessed!!

Celebrate!! The tomb was empty!! He has risen! He has RISEN indeed!

Dark Saturday

Lord,

today is a dark day to remember. For simple minds could only see that Jesus was dead. A man innocent of any wrongdoings was punished the most cruel ways known at that time. he went as the lamb goes to the slaughterhouse…silently. Hearts must have been broken, stomachs void of any morsel, for the bread of life was no longer among them.

Heavenly Father, Your precious Son was hard at work that day! He had appointments to meet death and conquer it!! Battles were fought that dark Saturday. Battles that easily defeated the enemy and were won because He loves us!! He wanted to keep us close. Jesus who suffered and died, did everything that Friday and Saturday for us!! He loves us that much!! When it looked to us that the battle was lost, our King destroyed, He was actually annihilating darkness and filling eternity with His precious light! Just for His Chosen, His beloved!! Thank you God for such a precious blessing!! A blessing we do not deserve yet in Your goodness give to us freely, the opportunity to accept Your love and grace for all eternity!!

Lord may we accept this gift and share it with others! Let them know how incredible our Savior is!! Help us to share with others in a way that their hearts will recognize that they need THE SAVIOR. May we all spend some time with You silently this Saturday, filled with the Holy Spirit, reflecting on this precious day. May our joy and thankfulness be abundant as we prepare for Easter Sunday.

Amen.

It is Friday

It’s Friday Lord God.

Good Friday.

It changed everything. You brought beauty out of the brokenness. Jesus, the innocent sacrifice, hung there on the cross at Calvary, tortured and beaten for our sins. He paid the price for us with His own precious blood. There is such power there. Victory is Yours! You continued the hope through the Resurrection that Sunday, death was conquered!! We can celebrate Friday and see it for Good because of the joy of Sunday. Please Lore keep the power of the cross real to us. It is a time to mourn the pain inflicted upon the Savior because of our life choices. Thank you Lord that we are forgiven by the wounds You received on our behalf. Touch not only our hearts but hearts throughout this world with the message of the enormous price paid for our sins. Best of all may it be known from the east to the west, that there is redemption for all who simply have the faith to ask.

Holy Thursday Prayer

May we not be distracted by the world and remember Your sweet mercy and amazing love. Cause us oh Lord, Your people to fall on our faces. Lord so many are in desperate need of prayer right now!! I ask that you help us to remember to lift up our struggling brothers and sisters to You in our daily prayers. Alone our burdens are heavy, but when we lift them together, to bring them to Your glorious feet, they feel less…they are lighter. Our hearts are not in the dark alone. Your light shines brighter with community.

Oh mighty Father, this is the season we celebrate the miracle of the resurrection of Your blessed Son. Such an incredible series of events that changed the world forever. The gift was more than we deserve and quite often we forget just how incredibly blessed we are to have a redeemer who shed His precious blood so that we might live eternally.

Help us sweet Jesus, to always humble ourselves in all we do, to seek the face of God. That our actions will reveal our love for You in every aspect of our lives. Awaken our desire to serve You Lord!! May we serve You with joy in our hearts!! Having the knowledge of serving our ONE TRUE KING is such and honor! Lord Jesus, we adore You!! We are so thankful You have given us this day to wake up and fulfill the plans You have for us!! Thank You Lord!! Thank You!!

In Your Glorious Name we humbly pray,

Amen

Photo credit: Church of the Intercessor

Easter Preparations Prayer

mug from Daily Grace Co

Holy Heavenly Father,

we come before You today with so much JOY in our hearts!!

Celebration Plans are in the making!! Celebrating together OUR RISEN KING!! Lord God we pray that You will bless all the preparations that are being made for Easter services all over the world this week. May the hands of the preparing servants be blessed as they happily dive into their work. May the Holy Spirit help make sure that everything that is created by these incredibly fabulous volunteers, ministry leaders and pastors working long hard hours this week, will come to CHANGE LIVES of those coming to church to visit. May those new visitors feel our true WELCOME throughout our celebration time while bearing witness to the grace and love of Jesus Christ. Lifting prayers nowt that we would be willing to make the sacrifices needed wherever necessary to make the visitors and the new believers feel totally welcome and wanted. May also any unbelievers that we may come in contact with feel that they are safe to come to a place where they can feel the peace and joy of Jesus, welcome the Good News and accept the free gift of salvation!!

Praying so strongly that You will direct all our Easter plans so that we will bring Honor and Glory to the Kingdom!! Holy Father in heaven, we love You immensely!! May Your will be done this Easter time, changing hearts and bringing Your children humbly to the cross to worship the most precious offering ever.

Amen.