Category Archives: scripture

Above all else, guard your heart…

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Ok, I’m just going to be real here.  These passed few days my heart has been pretty heavy; burdened to the point of nausea, anxiousness, fatigue, and just plain feeling sick.  Even though several things have happened this week to attribute to my feeling this way, I have to admit that the main cause…really is – a movie.  Yes, a movie, that I will never see, based on some books, that I will never read and yet they have my heart weeping and broken.  I have gone back and forth in my mind on what to say, how to say it, or if I should say anything at all. I am well aware of the many opinions on this topic that have very openly been expressed by many people, and I have decided that my thoughts and words would just be inadequate, so I will use His Word.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Ephesians 5:3)

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.  (1 Thessalonians 4:7)

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman (or man) with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her (or him) in his heart.   (Matthew 5:28)

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  (Psalm 51:10)

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. (Psalm 119:37)

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.  (2 Timothy 2:22)

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.  (1 John 2:16)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:1-2)

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,  and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  (Titus 2:3-5)

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

Husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.  (Ephesians 5:25)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight.  (Psalm 19:14)

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  (Psalm 37:4)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.   (Philippians 4:8)

 

This Valentines Day and every other day I will choose to honor my husband, to love and cherish him, that he and our life together will be my only desire apart from the love of my Savior.

Blessings

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Her First Moments With Him: Behind The Stable Doors

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As a mother, when I read the Christmas story, I am always drawn to Mary.  I often wonder what those first few moments were like for her as a very young, new mother.  I try to imagine how it must have felt to hold the Son of God wrapped in tiny flesh, the thoughts that must have ran through her mind, the questions, the fears…the joy!

I try to imagine…here are my thoughts…will you imagine it with me…

A baby calf, searching for it’s mother, stumbles around in one of the stables nearby and Mary awakes.  The smell of dirt and hay are thick in her nostrils and she fights back her nauseous feeling.  She struggles to sit up, her body aches from the long journey to Bethlehem and her energy is drained from the hours of labor she just endured.  She sees that Joseph is asleep beside her, “he is a good man”  she thinks to herself and she is thankful.  She is tired but unable to sleep; the night air is cool and crisp and she notices how brightly the stars are shining as their light creeps through the stable doors.  She looks around at all the animals as they sleep and then her eyes are drawn to Him.  Her heart skips a beat and she gathers the strength to lift Him out of the manger.  She pulls Him close to her and breathes him in, she gently runs her hand over his head to smooth his hair and softly traces the tiny features of his face with her fingers.  She can’t stop staring at him.  “You are beautiful”, she whispers, as tears roll down her cheeks. His little fingers clasp around hers and she is overcome with an unexplainable love.  Her mind begins to fill with so many questions as she cradles her precious baby boy.

“Is it really you?” she asks, “Are you really the One that has been promised to us all….the Messiah, the Savior of the world?  Why has God chosen me to be your mother, I am no one special?  What if I make a mistake, I am sure to fail.  How can I possibly be all that you need?”

Her body trembles as she holds her baby close and begins to pray.  She is reminded of the day the angel was sent to her from God and she remembers the words he spoke to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”  A calmness comes over her spirit and her heart is filled with peace.  It is quiet, all around her the town is silent, and she wonders how anyone can sleep when such a child has been born.  Does anyone know He is here?

She whispers to her son, “Our LORD will do great things through you, Jesus, but for now, sleep sweet little one…sleep.” She found herself humming a familiar tune, the song she sang during her visit with Elizabeth, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.” She wrapped her baby in swaddling clothes and placed him in the manger.  Joseph is awake now and is close by her side as she sings to Jesus.  Just outside the stable doors, down the beaten path, a group of shepherds are making their way into Bethlehem, they are coming to see a baby…the one the angels had told them about…

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Preparing Our Hearts For Christmas

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I love the Christmas season, it’s my favorite time of year.  I love the music, the decorations, the festivities, the food, the continuing on of family traditions, and the starting of new ones.  But, it’s so easy for the true meaning of Christmas to get lost in all the hustle and bustle of this busy season.  This is the time to anticipate and celebrate the arrival of our Rescuer; the coming of our King!  What a glorious day that first Christmas was some 2,000 years ago,  when Heaven came down to earth in the form of a tiny baby, our Savior had come to live…and to die for us all!  There is no greater reason to celebrate Christmas than this!

Through the years we have started some of our own family traditions to help our kids better understand the true meaning of Christmas.  We do a daily random act of kindness during the month of December to count down the days until Christmas.  We hope to teach our kids the importance of giving and learning selflessness, that Christmas is not about what they get, but about showing the love of Christ and finding ways to be a blessing to others.  We read the Christmas story every Christmas morning before we open gifts.  We bake a cake together on Christmas day for Jesus’ birthday; complete with candles and singing.  This year, we are adding a new tradition, we will be celebrating Advent (The coming of Christ). The scripture reading plan for Advent tells the story of God’s plan for salvation, starting with creation and continuing through the Old Testament to the birth of Jesus Christ.

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I have several friends that do this already with their families and I have always been intrigued by it.  As I have read and learned more about it myself, I think it is a wonderful way to prepare our hearts for Christmas.  In the midst of all the business of this season, it is a great way to have a quiet, reflective time each evening with our kids.  Along with our reading, each night we will be making an ornament for our Jesse Tree.  The name Jesse Tree represents the genealogy of Jesus.  Jesse is the father of David, an ancestor of Jesus.  It comes from the prophecy of the coming Messiah.

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 

Isaiah 11:1

We will be doing our reading using the Jesus Storybook Bible (which we love and highly recommend!)  If you have the Jesus Storybook Bible already, here is the link  to a great blog where a sweet momma has made up a free printable of the reading plan that goes along with it.  I also pinned the idea for the Jesse Tree ornaments from another sweet mommas blog, you can click here to check out the free printables she has to offer.

Our first night went well, we enjoyed our reading time and we gave the 3 older kids each a different responsibility in making the Jesse Tree ornament.  One got to color it, one got to put it together, and one got to hang it on the tree.  Each night they will rotate these responsibilities.

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If you are looking for a quiet, reflective way to prepare your hearts and the hearts of your children for Christmas, I hope these ideas are helpful.

Blessings!

 

 

 

 

God’s word in times of grief

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We will all be faced with grief at some point, and even though each situation will be different for each person, God’s promises for us remain the same.  He is our strength, our refuge, our comfort, and our very present help in time of need.  As Christians we have a hope…a peace that surpasses all understanding, so that when we are in the midst of grief, we are not driven to despair…joy comes in the morning!

His word for us in our times of grief:

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

(Psalm 34:17-18)

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

(2 Corinthians 4:7-9)

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

(Psalm 147:3)

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

(Psalm 30:5)

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

(Psalm 55:22)

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

(1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

(Psalm 46:1)

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you

(1 Peter 5:7)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

(Hebrews 4:15-16)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 4:6-7)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

(Jeremiah 29:11)

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

(Proverbs 30:5)

When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.

(Psalm 94:18-19)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

(2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.

(Psalm 121:1-4)

Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God

(Psalm 40:17)

But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand

(Psalm 10:14a)

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

(Hebrews 4:16)

I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, Because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul.

(Psalm 31:7)

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

(Psalm 9:9)

My soul weeps because of grief; Strengthen me according to Your word.

(Psalm 119:28)

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.

(Psalm 32:7)

You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.

(Psalm 10:17)

But You, O God, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name’s sake; Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me; For I am afflicted and needy, And my heart is wounded within me.

(Psalm 109:21-22)

Be joyful in hope, be patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

(Romans 12:12)

I pray these verses are an encouragement to you in your time of grief.  If you have other verses that have helped you, please feel free to share them.

Blessings

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