Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekend Nuggets - 20 Things I Want My Daughter to Know, Men Leading, Husbands Praying with Wives, Developing Godly Qualities in Our Children, Teaching Your Children Theology & Much More!



The Most Difficult Time to Lead - "I receive the emails often, the emails from the man who wonders how he, he of all people, could possibly lead his family. He has blown it. He has sinned too often, too flagrantly, too publicly."

Husbands, Pray With Your Wives - "If any of that resonates with you, dear Christian husband who loves his wife but doesn't know how to enter into her emotional needs, I offer you this one miraculous tool that won't cost you much at all."

20 Things I Want My Daughter To Understand About Being a Woman - You just need to read this one and share it with your daughters.  

Developing Godly Qualities in Our Children - "What qualities does God want us to develop in our children? No need to guess. Scripture tells us specifically: “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to have mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). These three requirements are a basis for evaluating our children’s character development:"

2 Principles to Consider if You Are Planning to Move: Advice to a Mobile Society - "In the 21st century, people often move for jobs, or education, or buying a new home. Long gone are the days when a person stays in the same town and maybe even takes over the family business. The average American is said to move as many as 11 or 12 times in their lifetime, most of which comes before their mid-forties."

5 Simple Ways to Teach Your Children Theology - "How can you weave theological teaching into their daily lives, without necessarily setting them down for an in-depth family sermon (though there is nothing inherently wrong with that)? How can you impart good theology into the lives of your children, without possessing a theological degree (though hopefully there is nothing inherently wrong with that)?"

What I'm Currently Reading:



Top Reads at the Blog This Week:


&


31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way {Revised Edition} by Sarah Mae is still only $.99 for a couple of days.


Great Deal on a Bundle for all you Do It Yourselfers (not sure that's a word but I used it) out there.



“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it’s hard to remember it all the time.”~ C. S. Lewis


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Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Difference Between True Beauty and Sensuality



Take a moment to watch the 5 minute video below as it one of the best descriptions of true beauty I have ever heard.  It is not legalistic, but scripturally sound giving solid biblical guidelines.

"If your clothing is a frame for your face, from which the glory of God is to shine, it’s proper. If your clothing draws attention to your body, to outline it, to make it noticed, then it’s sensual." 
~ Paul Washer


 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,  but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
~ 1 Timothy 2:9-10




(If you're viewing this in your email you will have to click through to the blog here to view the video)

He is the only ultimate, unchanging, eternal standard of beauty…In order to know what true beauty is, we must see God…True beauty is to behold and reflect the beauty of God. (emphasis mine)
~ Caroly Mahaney - True Beauty


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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Morning Time With The Lord



A sip of coffee and being cozied up by the fireplace in the mornings and I'm ready to sit at the feet of the Lord and glean from His Word.  My time in the mornings continues to vary over the years as to what and how I read various parts of Scripture and what books I like to include in my devotional time but here is what my current mornings look like:

Current Reads:




-Charles Spurgeon is such a powerful read and I've been working through Alistair Begg's version of his Morning and Evening book.  I love Spurgeon's heart for the gospel and his passion for holiness.



-My prayer journal has been a favorite addition to my time in the mornings.  There is space to write in my normal daily prayers for friends and family and a daily area to write in a scripture I am praying over the day.



-The Narrated Bible (highly recommended by John MacArthur) has given me a fresh perspective on the Old Testament as it's a chronological Bible and the narration adds good insight to the daily readings.  I'm working through the Old Testament in a year.



-My ESV Women's Devotional Bible was a sweet purchase and one I am thankful I took the plunge for.  It has wonderful short devotions throughout each book of the bible from various authors and the format is simple, clean and easy to read.

Scripture Typer Bible Memory Verses

-Scripture memory has been fun and easy with the Scripture Typer App.  It is one app that is worth the cost because it keeps track and reminds me of what scriptures I need to work on for the day.  I just put in the scriptures, work on them until they're memorized and then the app does all the work in bringing them back up for me to review again so they are always fresh in my memory.  It is amazing how much scripture you can memorize in just a few minutes a day!


My Daily Schedule:

I am a planner and having a plan helps me to stay focused during my time with the Lord.  I don't have to wonder what to read or work on next because it is already planned from the night before.

-Morning and Evening - (morning reading for the day - I like to do the evening one before bed)
-Prayer time
-Narrated Bible Old Testament Reading
-ESV Devotional Bible New Testament Reading - (see schedule below)
-Journal time - (I use this time to expand on a passage that stood out to me in my reading time in the Word.)
-Scripture Memory Work - (I'm still memorizing the book of Colossians and my scripture memory verses for church.  I will probably add some verses from the book of James as we study through it).)

This year I'm reading through a different book of the New Testament for each month and breaking up longer books in to a couple of months.  If it's a short book I read the whole book every day of the month and longer books I break up into several days or over a couple of months.

My New Testament Reading Schedule:
January - James
February - John
March - John
April - 1 John
May - 1 Corinthians
June - 2 Corinthians
July - Titus
August - 1 Peter
September - 2 Peter
October - Galatians
November - Matthew
December - Matthew

Special Studies:

I have several studies I'm working on throughout the year on James, John and I'm taking an online class through the Institute for Nouthetic Studies on Biblical Counseling.

We are working through the book of James this year in our women's Bible study at church and using Jen Wilkin's free online resources from her Flower Mound Bible Study.  You can find all the resources for her online studies here.

What About You?

What is on your reading list in your time with the Lord?  Do you have a Bible reading plan you use?  Favorite devotional reading? 


Beautiful Blogs Where I Link Up



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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

REVISED! 31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way by Sarah Mae



"This book is about the 'why' and the vision and the heart for taking care of our domains."
~ Sarah Mae

When Sarah Mae came out with her revised edition of 31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way, I jumped on the opportunity to review it.  I am a Martha at heart.  I like to get things done. My continued prayer to the Lord is to help me have a good balance of my responsibilities in light of sitting at His feet and tending to the hearts of those He has entrusted into my care.

It is a daily battle to the busy schedules of moms.  We have dishes to do, laundry piles, homes to clean, meals to make and plan and the list goes on and on.  We also need to take time to sit at the feet of Jesus, we have husbands and children to love, friends to spend time with and ministry opportunities as we go about our days.

It can begin to overwhelm us but doesn't need to.  The Lord will equip us to take care of the responsibilities He has laid before us and we need to be reminded to depend on Him.  The problem comes when we try to do it in our own strength.


"This book is for everyone out there who needs to know that being a good homemaker has less to do with having a clean home and more to do with loving others well."
~ Sarah Mae

So balance, we all desire balance and order in our lives.  The format of 31 Days to Clean is simple and each day is laid out with an encouraging, inspirational reading, Mary challenge and a Martha challenge.  There are some bonus tips and some days to get your kids involved too!

"The heart of our home is not in the ability to keep it perfect at all costs; the heart of a home is love.  We live in a thing, a non-eternal structure that needs to be maintained.  The thing is worthless without the life we bring to it and through it.  This book is about bringing life the mundane in order to love well."
~ Sarah Mae


The Table of Contents
Foreword by Logan Wolfram
Kind Homemaking: An Introduction to the Revised Edition with Original Introduction
What Does it Mean to Have a Martha House the Mary Way?
How to Use This Book
Day 1:  Why Clean?
Day 2:  Created to Give Life
Day 3:  10 Ways to Give Life to Your Home
Day 4:   Priorities
Day 5:  The Six List 
Day 6:  Overcoming the Curse
Day 7:  The Importance of a Plan 
Day 8:  Developing a Workable Routine
Day 9: Your Cleaning Style 
Day 10: Making Your Personality Work For You 
Day 11: Tornado Cleaning
Day 12: A Place to Put Your Feet Up
Day 13: Feeling Overwhelmed
Day 14: Organization 
Day 15: I’d Rather Do Anything But Clean 
Day 16: Finding Joy in the Self-Disciplined Life
Day 17: Fighting Fatigue
Day 18: The Secret to Having Energy 
Day 19: Distractions
Day 20: Limitations 
Day 21: Willing Hands
Day 22: Time
Day 23: To Hire Help or Not to Hire Help
Day 24: The Thing We All Have in Common
Day 25: The High-Low Cycle
Day 26: Laundry
Day 27: Becoming Friends with Goodwill
Day 28: Who Are You Trying to Please?
Day 29: What I Would Say to My Younger Self
Day 30: Contentment in the Season of Your Life
Day 31: Balancing it All
Is Messiness a Morality Issue?
A Word on Guilt
10 Ideas For Keeping Your House Clean by Kimberly Rivera
Keeping a Healthy Focus on Balance and Hospitality by Sandy Coughlin
10 Quick Tips for the Decorating Challenged by Logan Wolfram
About the Author




Grab your copy quick because it's only on sale for $.99 this week!!!

Then head on over to Sarah Mae's blog and check out her great giveaway for some cleaning supplies to get you started and start working through 31 Days to Clean with her today to get your heart and home in order!





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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Simple Steps To Ministry As We Go About Our Normal Days


I am writing today to encourage you Mama's that are at home with your babies.  If you're anything like me you may sometimes feel that you aren't out there making a huge impact for the kingdom.  Your days consist of making meals, cleaning, laundry, dishes, loving and hugging on children and taking care of the needs of your husband.

This is your main ministry and should be your primary focus as a Christian wife and mother and you are making a huge difference for eternity in the four walls of your own home but I want to challenge you a bit to look outside the walls of your home.

The Lord has placed you in a church family, given you neighbors and other non-Christian relationships, maybe put a widow or single mom in your path.  You have access online to many ministries that need prayer or maybe financial support.  I am not trying to overwhelm you or put a burden on you but I want to challenge you to see if there is ministry you can be participating in together as a family.

Sometimes we can get so busy with the every day details of life and forget to minister to those the Lord has placed in our paths.

Are There Other Needs You Can meet?  

Do you take the time to know those in your church family and learn what needs they have?  Not just those families you are already close with but is there someone you can reach out to that is different than your own family.  Can they use prayer? An encouraging word?  Just some time to sit and have coffee or have dinner with your family?

You may have neighbors with believing family praying that the Lord would place another believer in their path to share the Gospel with them.  That could be you.

Is there a widow that you could take the time to call on occasion, invite to lunch, take her some homemade goodies and pray with her?

Is there a single mom in your church that you could invite to dinner?

Is there a nursing home you can go as a family to visit with the residents and pray with them, read God's Word with them and have your children make them pictures and cards.

Can you bake some cookies for new neighbors moving in and tuck in some information on your church and a gospel tract?

Can you go as a family to your local abortion clinic and share the gospel with the ladies that are entering the clinic to take the life of their babies?  Maybe volunteer at your local crisis pregnancy center?

Do you have the time and finances to adopt a child through Compassion or a similar ministry that your family can support financially, through prayer and encourage though letters?



Ministry As We Go Along the Way:

These are just some ideas above but the point is to get you thinking of the needs around you.  We need to be prayerful to the Lord in how we can meet the needs of those around us.  There is a time to pray but there also is a time to act.  When there is a need set before you that you know you can meet just meet it.

Make sure you are mindful of your time and finances and talk about various ministry needs you can meet together as a family.  Our children are so good at seeing things we don't see.  This is a great opportunity to teach your children to reach out to the child at church that is quiet and may get overlooked during fellowship time or to the elderly widow who would love hugs and notes from your children.

Even at church we can get so comfortable in our normal group of friends that we miss so many other opportunities to develop some lasting friendships within our own church family.

Pray together as a family and the Holy Spirit will make you sensitive to the needs around you.  


We Are Equipped For Ministry:

Many times we get so caught up in what is going on in our homes we don't take the time to plan out ministry opportunities.  I am guilty of this myself so I'm writing this post as a reminder to myself to walk around with my spiritual eyes focused on who the Lord has put in my path.

You can't possibly meet all the needs around you but you can be faithful, one day at a time to meet the needs of those He has put in your path.  Some days it will only be your immediate family but other days there may be needs outside your home you can meet.

Have an action plan and be prepared so you are ready when you see that need, get that phone call or there is a knock at your door.  One way to work on this is to manage your home as best as you can.  I wrote in this post - "When our homes are in order, we are more likely to graciously and spontaneously offer hospitality."  Not perfect but tidy.  Our homes are meant to be place of ministry to our own families and to those friends and strangers the Lord brings into our lives.

Simple Steps to Ministry As You Go Along the Way:

Be prayerful and attentive to the needs around you.  We have a prayer guide at our church and it is a reminder to me as I'm praying for various families throughout the week to note if someone needs a phone call or a note sent out to check on how they are doing.  As I write down various prayer requests it also reminds me as I pray to see if there is anything I can do to bring them comfort.  Again, do they need a meal or a phone call or maybe just a visit to sit and pray with them.

Make hospitality simple with a couple of easy go to menus when you have families over.  Make dishes you are comfortable with and keep it simple.  They are there for the relationships and not the food. (Read What is Biblical Hospitality?)

Keep cards and stamps on hand to be able to send a quick handwritten note to someone.

Are you baking cookies or bread?  Make a double batch and take one to a neighbor, widow or single mom.

When someone has a prayer request at church they share with you stop right there and pray with them about it.

Keep favorite resources on hand when you have extra money in your budget to hand out to friends.  I always love having some good books on hand that have impacted my life as a Christian to share with friends.

Keep good gospel focused tracts, books and DVD's to hand out with gifts and goodies and visits.

The Gospel 

As believers the most important truth we can share with anyone is the Gospel.  Christian ministry isn't Christian ministry if it is void of the Gospel.  Make sure you take the time to know the foundational truths of the Gospel.  "Preach the Gospel and use words if necessary" is not biblical (Romans 10:17 - visit Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Your Sphere of Influence and Can You Share the Gospel?)



What are some ways you and your family practice ministry as you go along the way?


Related Links:
Joy in Serving the Body of Christ
What is Biblical Hospitality?





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