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So often we face circumstances that we don’t understand and see no way out of.👀 But God in His unfailing love always provides a way and has a plan and purpose for everything.👌
Yet we turn around and keep our mouths shut about the things that God has done, is doing and continues to do. As though we’re entitled to His blessings. Let’s not forget. ALL have sinned and fallen short of His glory. My sin isn’t greater than your sin and vice versa.
So why hold back the good news of God’s love and saving grace?
We don’t realize our test is a testimony and our mess is a message. There is someone out there somewhere who needs to hear your story. There’s no need to recite scripture word for word or know where in the Bible it says such and such.
Just show others what God has done in your life. It’s too great to keep it to yourself! Remember, you may be the only Bible some will ever “read”.
Plant the seed. God will do the rest.🌱
Saturday as the sun was approaching the horizon, my daughter caught glimpse of a rainbow outside the kitchen window. I quickly grabbed my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy Note 5) to take a photo, just knowing the rainbow could be gone in an instant.
When I stepped outside, the first thing I noticed was how chilly the air had turned compared to just a couple hours beforehand. I also noticed how intense the sky appeared. It was the perfect atmosphere for storms, yet there we stood in peace.
I snapped a photo but was in no way satisfied with the outcome simply because it did the actual view no justice. At all. Disappointing.
Then I remembered the phone camera’s PRO settings. I had somewhat of an idea what I was doing. I quickly fiddled with the metering selection, EV (exposure value), ISO, WB (white balance) and focal distance until what appeared on my phone screen resembled what I saw in the sky.
I was much more pleased with the result especially because the rainbow was actually visible.
I continued shooting a few more, simply in awe of the creativity presented before me. The transition in the clouds from dark to light, thick to barely there, textured to smooth, the contrasting blues and oranges. It was art at its finest.
What an amazing Creator, to reveal His glory and remind us of his promise all at once.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1 NIV
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
Genesis 9:12-16 NIV
Saturday afternoon was spent Bible journaling with the children. It was the first time in a long time that I picked up my art supplies for personal use, not for helping with homework or school projects.
This idea of Bible journaling recently struck when I was browsing Pinterest.
There are so many great ideas on there. But I focused my search on “Bible journaling with children”. I figured it would be something they enjoy because they’re artsy, craftsy, creative beings.
We kept it simple. I bought them art journals and colored pencils a while back so they grabbed those and their Bibles. We prayed befor beginning. Then I simply asked them to think of their favorite Bible verse and what it means to them, and use a drawing to express that.
My sons each really like Philippians 4:13 and drew their own versions of biceps to symbolize strength. My daughter selected John 3:16 and drew a gate (for heaven) and a cross. I chose Isaiah 40:31.
While I initially wanted Bible journaling to be for my own quiet time with God, I wanted to show the children the importance of relationship building. It’s our time with our Creator and our time with family that is precious.
After we completed our drawings we shared our art, our scripture and why it’s meaningful to us. Then we closed with prayer. They kept thanking me afterwards and wanted confirmation that we would do it again next Sabbath afternoon.
I reassured them that this would be a great way to study and get to know God’s Word, and yes, we would do it again. I’m just glad that such a simple idea was a blessing for us all.
Have you tried Bible journaling?
Seeing my son so proudly represent his uncle and having his uncle surprise him…😁 priceless.
The blessing lied in enjoying the presence of my baby brother and his wife 💖, my middle son (his twin 🙈) and my nephew (his other twin 😇).
I remember when doctors said my brother wouldn’t make it. But I also remember watching him fight a battle that a 2 year old shouldn’t have to fight. Yet he wasn’t fighting alone. I remember a grandmother that prayed.🙏 I remember parents that learned to put their faith in God.🙌
I remember falling in love with Jesus for carrying my baby brother through. I remember years later watching my baby brother sing in church and his school chorus.
I remember the excitement of my brother announcing his marriage.💍 And yet again when he welcomed his own son into this world.👶
All of this doctors said would never happen. But God had plans for him.
I share this to say…
When God has a calling on your life, no weapon formed shall prosper.
Not any form of cancer or medical diagnosis, or doctor’s opinions about your outcome. Because God has the final say. And the victory is in Jesus.
My children are 13, 12 & 10.
Today they woke up early and helped my husband make a delicious breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs and hash browns.🍳
Then they went outside to help my husband with yard work. 🌾
When it was time for dinner, they worked together to prepare everything: fresh salad with cranberries, raisins & sliced almonds & croutons + brussels sprouts with black pepper, garlic & olive oil + sweet potato with butter, brown sugar & marshmallow + salmon with black pepper, garlic, balsamic vinegar & olive oil. Oh, and tater tots. 😊
They even baked a cake. 🎂
I am amazed and proud at the same time.
I always tell them I’m teaching them all I can so they’re capable and independent.
They proved today that they’re watching and learning. They applied their knowledge and their ability to communicate and delegate.
As challenging as parenting is on a day to day basis, it is a blessing. Today just showed me how truly blessed I am.
I couldn’t ask for a better Mother’s Day. 😊💖
How many times have you thought you knew it all and didn’t consult God’s counsel through prayer and Bible study?
How many times have you forgotten to include God, whether in your simple plans for the day or in your important decision making?
How did that turn out?
Yeah, I didn’t think it went so well myself.
I’ve learned to trust in my Heavenly Father to correct me, guide me, instruct me, lead me. He has never failed me or steered me wrong.
It takes daily effort but it’s more than worth it. Try it. You won’t regret it.
Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:7 GNB
Only when we are deeply rooted in God, can we withstand tribulation and produce good fruit.
Is God your foundation?
Growing up I felt I had strong morals and values, thanks to my parents and grandparents. I had enough respect for myself that I never felt pressured to do what “everyone else” was doing. I didn’t want to be “everyone else” anyway. I was happy being me.
I graduated high school without any questions about whether or not I had ever drank, smoked or engaged in sexual activity. That just wasn’t my thing. I was never asked to. I never wanted to. I was focused on my grades and making my parents proud. Call me goodie two shoes if you must, I’ve heard it all before, but I wasn’t perfect.
At some point I found myself in that exchange of God’s rich truth for the enemy’s cheap, tainted lie. Like Eve, I chose to answer when the Spirit said “walk away”. And my life was forever changed.
I’ll save the details of what I endured for another time. I’ll just say this, once you’re lured by sin and that exchange of truth for lies is made, only God can break the chains. The enemy does not negotiate. His motive is to destroy you, by any means necessary. Those lies that the enemy fed me were to keep me from the truth. The truth is that the greatest and purest relationship I would ever have is found in God.
Whatever temptation you’re facing, run to the arms of the One who loves you. He will help you with a way out. That’s His promise.
“Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 GNB
So often we take our freedom for granted. It is a privilege and a blessing to have freedom. Even more of a blessing is to share that freedom with others. I don’t mean the freedom that days “do what you want”. I mean the freedom that says “I am no longer bound by sin, but I am free through the blood of Jesus”.
Why would one want to share that freedom with others? It’s amazing. It’s awesome. The best way to share it is to show it! Love others. Serve others. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Live like Jesus lived. I guarantee you there is no greater freedom than in Christ.
As for you, my brothers and sisters, you were called to be free. But do not let this freedom become an excuse for letting your physical desires control you. Instead, let love make you serve one another.
Galatians 5:13 GNB