Devotion · family · kids · love · mom · motherhood · reeding · World VS Life

“An Undeserved Love” #MomBlogger

I watched the sippy cup leave my hands and had an “out of body” moment. Out-of-body me stood there looking at sippy-cup-thrower me with that judgy-side-eye thinking “Really, you’ve stooped this low?” The sippy of juice splattered across the kitchen wall and my kids stood there as dumbfounded as I was when I realized I had just lost my ever-lovin-junk in front of them. Everyone was afraid to blink, breathe, cry, or laugh. Because what do you REALLY do in those moments? If you don’t laugh, you just cry.

Oh, motherhood. You bring out the best and unfortunately, the worst in all of us. I can’t remember what it was that made me lose my temper, throw that cup, and probably scare my children half to death. But what I do remember? My three-year-old walking up to me not moments later, hugging my leg (as I was sobbing on the kitchen counter at this point) and saying “I love you, Mommy.”

That, my friends, is a picture of grace and unconditional love. If we learn anything from our children, it’s forgiveness, grace, and love. I was hitting rock bottom, exhausted with three children under the age of three and losing it every second. But a little squeeze from a three-year-old reminded me of God’s love for me in those moments. He whispers to us through our children, “I love you.”

In our weakest, ugliest moments – He embraces us. When we have sore throats from yelling at our kids, when we can barely put a sentence together to talk to our husband because we’ve let our marriage fall apart. When the loneliness takes over because we’ve broken every relationship in our lives.

His grace, His love covers every inch of us – especially the ugly, weak parts. Redemption is such a gift, and every part of our life can be redeemed because He showed us that when He gave His life for us. He could walk away, and leave us crazy people to our cup-throwing ways – but He always welcomes us in and shows us His love.

Thank you, God, for not throwing our sippy cups against the wall and going to the cross for us instead.

Romans 5: 1-11

From a Devotional Study. By Thrive Moms.

Causes · Challenge · Devotion · Family Share · mom · motherhood · photography · reeding · Review · sunday devotion · women · World VS Life

Pray Without Quitting

A 365 Days Challenge Day #5

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Pray Without Quitting

Does it seem your prayers have gone unanswered? Never give up. Find new ways to pray, and discover new ways to see your circumstances.

This requires a combination of teachability and persistence. If your prayers are answered in a way different than you expect, ask God what He wants to teach you through the experience. Ask Him again and again to show you what you need to know. Do you need to ask for something different? Do you need to wait longer for an answer? Listen and watch for God’s answers. If you are willing to listen and watch for God’s answers. If you are willing to learn, He is happy to teach. if you have patience, you’ll find His timing is perfect. Meanwhile, keep on asking.
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Persistence forges strength of character that comes from refusing to quit, even when the path isn’t easy. By persisting, you join Him in His determination to make things right. Pray without quitting.

Heavenly Father, the things I want to persist in asking for are…

I want to be more persist in asking for patience. God knows I need it, more than I realize it. I need to pray without quitting and learn from whatever God gives me for an answer.
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book · Devotion · family · sunday devotion

Start building your trust #SundayDevotion

Start building your trust in God day by day!

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Form New Habits

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

God’s Word teaches us that when we receive Christ as our Savior and Lord, He gives us a new nature. He gives us His nature. He also gives us a spirit of discipline and self-control, which is vital in allowing us to choose the ways of our new nature. He gives us a sound mind (see 2 Timothy 1:7), and that means we can think about things properly without being controlled by emotion. The way we once were passes away, and we have all the equipment we need for a brand-new way of behaving. God gives us the ability and offers to help us, but we are not puppets and God will not manipulate us. We must choose spirit over flesh and right over wrong. Our renewed spirits will then control our souls and bodies or, to say it another way, the inner person will control the outer person.

Without God’s help we have difficulty doing things in moderation. We frequently eat too much, spend too much money, have too much entertainment, and talk too much. We are excessive in our actions because we behave emotionally. And after the thing is done and cannot be undone, we regret doing it. But we can choose to form new habits, not doing something just because we feel like it, but instead doing what will produce the best result in the end.

We do not have to live in regret. God gives us His Spirit to enable us to make right and wise choices. He urges us, guides and leads us, but we still have to cast the deciding vote. If you have been casting the wrong vote, all you need to do is change your vote. Forming new habits will require making a decision to not do what you feel like doing unless it agrees with God’s will.

Trust in Him
God wants you to live out of your new nature, not your old one. Every time you put your trust in Him and cast the deciding vote to obey, His Spirit transforms you and makes you more like Him.

From the book Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2012 by Joyce Meyer. 

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Devotion · Family Share · photography

Leaving a Legacy for Your Child

Leaving a Legacy for Your Child

The space shuttle Columbia – most of us didn’t know much about the amazing crew on the ship’s last mission until they were lost in that awful re-entry tragedy.

Now, we understand what truly outstanding men and women these people were – beginning with their commander, Rick Husband. Hearing from his family and friends, it quickly became clear that he was a magnetic follower of Jesus Christ. He quoted memory verses from Joshua 1 to prepare his crew the night before the launch. He prayed with his crew just before they met the press and boarded the shuttle. He molded his diverse crew into a bonded team.

And then there was the really touching thing he did for his kids before he left. He made 17 videos for his daughter and 17 videos for his young son, each one a “devotional with Daddy” for each day he was scheduled to be gone – it was Daddy with the Word of God and Daddy praying with them. Can you imagine what a treasure that has been for them?

He left them the kind of legacy God intends for every father to leave – a contagious love for Jesus, the teaching of God’s words and God’s ways, and a consistent life of Christlike love and purity.

The answer to, “How do you know that’s what a father’s supposed to be doing?”, is found in

Ephesians 6:4. It says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

There are men who might say, “That’s women’s work.” There are men who try to delegate to their wife the spiritual leadership for which God holds them accountable. Throughout the Bible – beginning with Adam – God makes it clear where the buck stops when it comes to spiritual leadership in a family. It stops with the man.

And that’s not supposed to be a bad thing. It means that a man can leave a legacy for his children that can literally change their lives and last forever. That’s an exciting prospect! Rick Husband modeled this God-given assignment of being your children’s spiritual coach when he left God’s Word for his children along with hearing him talk with God on their behalf.

One reason some men haven’t stepped up to building spiritual legacy could be fear of failure. We men tend to only do things where we’re pretty sure we won’t look stupid. We ask out a girl only when we’re pretty sure she won’t shoot us down. We show up for a sport where we can look reasonably coordinated. And because trying to lead our family in praying and exploring God’s Word is unsure ground, we tend to shy away from it, or we hide behind the fact that we think our wife is better at it. But God doesn’t buy any of that. There’s only one way you can be a failure in being a spiritual leader for your family – and that’s by not stepping up! Just do it – however clumsy and unsure you may be at first.

When your children remember you, will they remember a praying man, a godly man, one who loved and lived by the words of God? It’s the greatest legacy you can give them. In the words of the psalmist,

“We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord” and will follow God’s mandate that men should “teach their children, so the next generation would know…even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God…” (Psalm 78:4, 6, 7).

We never know when our own mission on earth will end. Therefore, we can’t waste another day working on our spiritual legacy. The greatest gifts you will leave your children will not be in your will – they will be in your life – as you pass onto them your living faith in your living God!

Further study

Malachi 4:5-6
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Going Deeper

One thing I need to do more of to leave a spiritual legacy with my family is…

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
5And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
10And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,
11And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not, when thou shalt have eaten and be full.
12Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
13Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
14Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you.
15(For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
16Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
17Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.
18And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers,
19To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the Lord hath spoken.
20And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, what mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord our God hath commanded you?
21Then thou shalt say unto thy son, we were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand:
22And the Lord shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes:
23And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.
24And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
25And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us. Deuteronomy 6: 4-25
Info: Bible and Daily word with Ron Hutchcraft
Devotion · Family Share · kids · reeding · Review

Protecting Your #Child from • Soul Poison •  #Parenting 

Protecting Your Child from “Soul Poison”
There are some decent, even values-oriented things on television for children these days. But, as you know very well, there’s a lot of garbage, too. And in between those two extremes, there are shows that are mostly good but have some words scattered in them that little ears shouldn’t be hearing – or big ears, for that matter. Along comes a service called TV Guardian – which automatically replaces a naughty word with a nice word, thus removing what could be bad for your child. Occasionally, the replacements are actually a little amusing. Like the word “sex,” for example. The replacement word is “hugs.” Which gets a little interesting when someone asks, “So what will be the hugs of your baby?” But I do think TV Guardian is a pretty good idea.

Something like TV Guardian was invented for parents who realize a very important assignment that they have; to protect their children from anything that could harm them. Of course, a parent is going to protect their son or daughter from physical harm – like getting too close to the edge of a cliff or running onto the Interstate. But Mom and Dad have no less a responsibility for protecting their kids from things that can hurt their soul. And there’s a lot of soul poison out there.

There is a ten-word challenge that underscores where the front lines of the battle are for any life – including that of your children. Proverbs 4:23 begins with these attention-getting words, “Above all else…” Then these ten words – “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” In other words, be careful about what gets into your heart – or into your child’s heart – because it is the reservoir from which everything else flows.

Yes, one front in the battle for a child’s pure heart is related to what they listen to and watch. It’s amazing how we will allow someone to portray right in our living room, on TV, DVD, or Netflix, things we would never, ever allow to be done in our living room – sexually, for example. We allow comedy into our home and into their heart that trivializes sin that ruins lives; not realizing that our kids are learning to laugh about things that are eternally serious. No matter what the parental peer pressure of what other parents are allowing and what the culture says is “must see” stuff, we’ve got to stand our ground on not allowing our kids to mentally eat out of the garbage can.

 
But guarding their heart is so much bigger than TV or movies or music. It’s about the poison that comes from us. The bitterness they’re learning by listening to us, the anger, the self-centeredness, the putdowns of other people, the names they hear us call people, the prejudice they hear in the way we talk about others, the disrespect they hear us expressing toward people at work, at church – or even toward their Mother or Father. That’s more deadly poison than anything the media can pump out. Our precious children need “Parent Guardian” – to protect them from the poison that they see modeled in living color by a Mom or Dad.

The DVR in your son’s or daughter’s heart is always recording. It’s always capturing what it hears, and the impressions are shaping who they’re becoming. You are the guardian, assigned to your child by God, to protect that young heart from poison and infection – even if (especially if) it’s coming from you.

Going Deeper

One undesirable trait I see in my child that reminds me of myself is… One thing I could do to help them and me grow in that area is…

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬ Tweet: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬ - Via- @4Guys_1Girl

“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise. I will be careful to lead a blameless life— when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil. Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate. My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; the one whose walk is blameless will minister to me. No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭101:1-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Study by Ron Hutchcraft
Family Share · photography

The things I learned in life – #MomBlogger

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The things I learned in life

I learned that no matter how much I care, some people just do not care. I learned that no matter how good a person is, that person will hurt me from time to time, but I need to forgive her for this. I learned that talking can ease my emotional pain.

I learned that it takes years to build trust and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned that true friendship continues to grow, even over long distances. I learned that I could do in moments, things that I will forever regret.

I learned that what matters is not what I have in life, but who I have in life. I learned that members of my family are friends who I was not allowed to choose. I learned that I don’t have to change friends, and, yes, understand that friends change.

I learned that the people I care most in life have been taken too quickly. I learned that I always leave people who I love with loving words, it may be the last time I see them. I learned that the circumstances and the environment have an influence on me, but I am responsible for myself.

I learned that I should not compare myself to others, but do the best I can do. I learned that no matter how far I get, know where I’m going. I learned that no matter how delicate and fragile something is, there are always two sides.

I learned that It will take a long time for me to become the person I want to be. I learned that I can go further after thinking I can not. I learned that either I control my acts or they will control me.

I’ve learned that heroes are people who did what was necessary, facing the consequences. I learned that to have patience requires a lot of practice. I learned that there are people who love me, but just do not know how to show it.

I have learned that my best friend and I can do many thing, or nothing and still have a good times together. I learned that the person I expect to treat me wrong, when I’m down, is one of the few that will help me up. I learned that there are more of my parents in me than I thought.

I learned that when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that does not give me the right to be cruel. I learned that just because someone does not love me the way I want it does not mean that someone doesn’t love me with everything they got. I learned that maturity has more to do with the kinds of experiences I’ve had, and what I learned from them Than how many birthdays I already celebrated.

I learned that I should never tell a child that dreams are silly, or they are out of the question, because fewer things are more humiliating and would be a tragedy if she believed me. I learned it is not always enough to be forgiven by someone, I have to learn to forgive myself. I learned that no matter how many pieces my heart was broken, the world doesn’t stop for me to fix it.

Just learned, the things I learned in life!

Devotion · reeding

No Surprises here. 

It’s No Surprise to God
One of the strongest and most persistent fears people experience is the fear that they won’t have what they need. We want to feel safe in every area of life. But we’re constantly attacked with the fear that we won’t have what we need—whether it’s finances, relationships, or the ability to do what God has called us to do.

More than any other command in Scripture, God tells us not to fear. God never promises us a trouble-free life, but He does promise us His presence and the strength (mental, physical, and emotional) we require to get through our troubles.
Several years ago, a friend of mine went in for a routine checkup and learned days later that her doctor feared she might have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the most aggressive form of the disease. More tests were needed, and she was told it might take two or three weeks before a confirmed diagnosis could be reached.
I asked my friend how she got through those weeks of uncertainty and if she was afraid. “Yes, I was afraid,” she said. “But I also knew that whatever the outcome was, it would be no surprise to God.” Then she said something else that might be of help to you. She told me she realized that if she worried for three weeks and then learned she had lymphoma, she would have wasted three valuable weeks of her life. And if she worried for three weeks and learned she did not have lymphoma, she would have still wasted three valuable weeks of her life. “Believe it or not,” she said, “I didn’t lose a minute’s sleep for those twenty-one days.”
When the tests finally came back, my friend learned she did indeed have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She had surgery and endured many months of chemo. I’m pleased to tell you that, ten years later, she’s in terrific health. And she didn’t waste three valuable weeks.

Trust in Him

What are you afraid of? No matter what you are going through, it’s no surprise to God. He’s not unsure of what’s around the corner or unprepared for whatever you’re going through. Put your trust in Him and be confident in His plans for your life.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭41‬:‭10‬ NIV)

From the book Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2012 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Devotion · Family Share

One Good Choice After Another

One Good Choice After Another
Are you enjoying the life and blessings of God in your everyday life? Or have you made a series of choices resulting in disappointment, pain, or feeling that everything you do requires great effort and produces little reward? Don’t spend your time and energy mourning all the bad decisions you have made; just start making good ones. There is hope for you!

The way to overcome the results of a series of bad choices is through a series of right choices. The only way to walk out of trouble is to do the opposite of whatever you did to get into trouble—one choice at a time. Maybe the circumstances of your life right now are the direct result of a series of bad choices you have made. You may be in debt because you have made a lot of bad choices with money. You may be lonely because of a series of bad choices in relationships or in the way you treat people. You may be sick because of a series of unhealthy choices: eating junk food, not getting enough rest, or abusing your body through working too much and not having enough balance in your life.
You cannot make a series of bad choices that result in significant problems and then make one good choice and expect all the results of all those bad choices to go away. You did not get into deep trouble through one bad choice; you got into trouble through a series of bad choices. If you really want your life to change for the better, you will need to make one good choice after another, over a period of time, just as consistently as you made the negative choices that produced negative results.
No matter what kind of trouble or difficulty you find yourself in, you can still have a blessed life. You cannot do anything about what is behind you, but you can do a great deal about what lies ahead of you. God is a redeemer, and He will always give you another chance.
Trust in Him

If you have a situation that is too big for you to solve, then you are material for a miracle. Invite God to get involved, trust in and follow His directions, make one good choice after another, and you will see amazing results.

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭4‬:‭25‬ KJV)

From the book Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2012 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Devotion

How to Pray in Faith

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But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let, not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:6-7 

We need not exert ourselves and try to force ourselves to believe or try to chase doubt out of our hearts. Both are just as useless. It begins to dawn on us that we can bring everything to Jesus, no matter how difficult it is; and we need not be frightened away by our doubts or our weak faith, but only tell Jesus how weak our faith is. We have let Jesus into our hearts. And He will fulfill our hearts’ desires. ___ O. Hallesby

When we know that God wants our communication it encourages us to pray. But there is an element to prayer that God needs from us before our prayers can be answered and that’s our faith. When we come to God asking for something believing in Him that he can accomplish it having total faith in Him it pleases him.  The word of God in John 14 also says that has seen Jesus has seen God because they are one. And whatever we ask in his name he will do so the father may be glorified in the son.

Paul writes in {Ephesians 3:12} in him and through faith in him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 

{John 14:14} You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

As we do come in Jesus’ name, it is the same as though Jesus prayed. It is the same as though___let I be saying it very softly so it may seem very reverent __ as though Jesus put His arm in yours and took you up to the Father, and said, ” Father, here is a friend of mine; we’re on good terms. Please give him anything he asks, for my sake.” And the father would quickly bend over and graciously say, ” What’ll you have? You may have anything you ask when My Son asks for it.” __S.D. Gordon

Constant faith in God’s ways of answering prayers is essential.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. {James 1: 5-8}

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. {1 John: 13-15}

Believing what God says in His Word is faith. Faith is certainly a critical element of prayer. When you pray to God you have to lay it all down on his hands and forget about it, let him handle it from there, and have faith he is taking care of it for you. Don’t try to help God, Help you. Believe, have faith he will do the best for his child. His coming to this world, dying on the cross to save you was not for nothing.

Suppose one of your friends or relative called you and asked you to come over and care for something that was very dared to them but said, ” There will be a friend of ours here to be with you because I’m afraid you might take something.” What would you think? How would you respond? I believe in a way this is how God is trying to communicate when He says that we must have faith.

A Prayer for faith – David’s Prayer 

” I love you, O Lord, my strength.” The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon you Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies. {Psalm 18: 1-3}

May we have enough faith to be able to rest in peace and lay all our worries in God’s hands.

Material from the daily devotion book – Bible Study – and The Bible