Back to the Basics!

Back to the Basics!

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Let’s get back to the basics! 

Whether we are learning how to play basketball, cooking a new recipe, playing a game with our kids, or learning how to follow Christ, we must learn the basics. Without understanding the basics, we will never build a firm foundation or be able to excel at anything we choose to do, so we must get back to the basics.

Jumping Ahead of the Basics

Often times we are so eager to do the BIG things for Christ and His kingdom that we forget that the daily work of walking with him is what is most important. Without being in his word,  Satan has too much of an opportunity to trip us up and make can something SEEM godly, when it is really not God’s way at all. 

One result of jumping ahead of the basics of the Bible is that we can actually not only end up following a misleading path delivered by another well-meaning Christ follower, but we ourselves could lead others in a direction away from Christ as well. 

The Coffee House Conversation

This past summer as God called my heart to write again, I found myself sitting on a terrace of a coffee house with my husband. He was working and I was writing. 

As I took a minute to look up from my laptop, I noticed that a young woman had settled herself on the opposite side of the terrace and pulled out a well-read Bible. 

To say I felt compelled to go pray with her was an understatement, so I finished my thought, saved my work, and walked over to say hi. 

Now, I don’t mind meeting new people, but sometimes I can be awkward. I’m not sure what I said, but she politely invited me to sit down and we proceeded to talk for about two hours before ending with a prayer. 

The Sad Epiphany from our Conversation

It was an utter joy speaking with this young woman. She was full of wisdom and knew God’s word. As I looked at her Bible, which looked like it had been poured over for at least a decade, I asked how long she had been following Christ and her answer shocked me:

Less than a year!  

Praise the Lord that she had been leaning into God’s word so heavily, but this is where the sad epiphany occurred. 

She beamed as she shared her conversion story, but sadness filled her face as she confessed that almost immediately she was confronted with well-meaning Christians who encouraged her to read other books than the Bible so that she could grow in her understanding of her role as a disciple of Christ. 

What?  

Why would we think that giving a book that shares someone else’s thoughts about what the Bible has to say could be better than God’s actual words? 

But don’t we do this sometimes? 

Instead of reading a book that talks about what God says, she decided to read what God says. She wanted to go directly to the source!

Even though at the time she was less than a year old as a follower of Christ her spiritual maturity level was way beyond her years and it all started by being in God’s word. From their her faith grew, her walk with God became more solid, and she faces each day knowing that the God of the Bible is living, breathing, and giving her his strength! 

Is this a sad truth that we are facing?

Is she the only Christ follower that in their immature stage has been offered something other than the Bible to learn from?

Do we as Christ followers tend to put more emphasis on other books that supposedly explain the Bible rather than encourage people to dig into the Bible for themselves? 

The Myth that Compels Us to Share Other Books

After walking away from this conversation, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many of us  may choose to recommend another book than the Bible to help someone grow spiritually? 

It’s seem ridiculous doesn’t it? But as I thought about my own walk, I remember thinking several things about the Bible before I started digging in on my own. 

The Bible is too hard to understand.”

“I can’t understand this on my own.”

“I need someone to explain this to me.”

And although these are seemingly true the devil totally takes advantage of these thoughts and turns them into beliefs that keep us from opening the Bible. 

Here is how I respond to these statement now:

“The Bible is too hard to understand.”

Although some concepts in the Bible may be difficult to understand, we will never begin to understand them, if we don’t start reading and studying them now. As we read and study, we will begin to make connections that will help us understand. God is good and gracious and will help us as we seek Him. 

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.”
– Proverbs 8:17

The thoughts “I can’t understand this on my own.” and “I need someone to explain this to me.” now get answered by James 1:5: 

“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.”

We can ask God to give us wisdom and understanding as we are reading his words, so that we can grow closer to him. 

What Does Getting Back to the Basics Look Like?

Getting back to the basics is really simple. It means opening our Bibles, reading them, praying for wisdom, and then with courage implementing what we have read. 

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22

It’s not about just reading the Bible for ourselves but also reading the Bible with our children and teaching them how to live it out through our Lord’s strength. 

Bible Reading Tracker Printable

This year our family decided to keep a visual Bible Reading Log of what we have read. As we read through different books and chapters, we color off a chapter of that book. We keep it tucked in our Bible so we don’t misplace it and actually tend to use it as a bookmark for where we finished.  

I’m excited to see what all God will teach us this year as we draw closer to Him through His word!

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Lord, we praise you!  You spoke this world into being and created us. Your words are powerful. Your Word brings life, hope, peace, and mercy. We pray that we will delight in your words and teachings, that we will meditate on it day and night and be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields it’s fruit in season and who leaf does not wither (Psalm 1:1-3). May we then live a life that honors and glorifies you and points others back to your words of truth. In Jesus’ powerful name – Amen

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Look to Him

Look to Him

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

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Look to Him

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.” Psalms 121:1-2

Day by day I look for help. I might look to the internet, to a friend, to my oils, to hot black coffee, or to my husband. Ah, but who is the giver of these wonderful gifts? The Lord, of course! Do I remember to look to him? Do I really trust him with the matters on my heart?

Declarations of Faithfulness

David did. The Psalms are bursting with declarations of faithfulness to God in his times of need. 

“O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eye- it has gone from me.” – Psalms 38:9-10

It is encouraging to see how David brought the very depths and grit of his emotions to the Lord. Even through his times of doubt, fear, and sadness, he turned to God for strength and encouragement. Just a few verses later, we read:

“But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.” Psalm 38:15

We really can bring God everything.

He will help us! He wants to strengthen us and transform us. The Lord draws us to him through our longings. Ruth Chou Simons’ words in the last chapter of her book Beholding and Becoming really touched my heart. 

“No amount of finding our place here on earth will satisfy the longing we have to find our place with Him. We can stop looking frantically to our past, our future, our left or right to feel fully at home- we won’t find it here on this dusty earth.” 

Our needs can truly only be met by God alone.

Our problem though is that we want fulfillment on this earth. We strive after success, prime health, and material bounty like it can surly cure this inevitable need we have to feel complete. We starve ourselves of experiencing rest in God because we are so distracted by trying to solve our problems on our own. Only the God who created us and loves us can meet the needs that are anchored deep in our heart. The need to be filled, content, known, and loved. The need for purposeful and fruitful living. 

“Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23

Oh, to be home with Christ our Lord.

Yes, that will fulfill our need for wholeness. That will make us complete. The great news is that we don’t have to go to him. He comes down to us! Having him reside in us will give us sure strength and offer us the help we need day in and day out. We just have to look to him

Look to him, and behold his goodness and glory. 

When you are burdened by the disappointments this side of Eden, or stressed from the little things, look to him.

When you are overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, insecure, or trapped, look to him. 

When you’ve been wronged, look to him.

When you are facing illness, look to him

When you are unsure of the future or restless with discontent, look to him. 

When you are feeling void of direction and purpose, look to him

Look to him in the majesty of nature or in the sweetness of his people.

Look to him in the gifts he’s given you.

Most importantly, look to him in scripture and in prayer. 

Hope on Earth

Work in itself isn’t bad. God won’t take away our work. He doesn’t take away the realities of this earth, but he does give us fulfillment in a way that no earthly solution can.

He can fill our hearts with meaning and purpose. He can save our souls from selfishness and aimless pattering and give us hope for our eternity. Hope for what really matters on this world. He can take our life and make it good and pure despite the scars we bare. He can make us fruitful in our daily lives as well as in our legacy.  

Our Best Through Him

Through the Holy Spirit, God has actually made his home in us, and our best help will come from him! As we look to him and behold who he is, we will become more and more like him through the work of his spirit.

It’s not our effort, but his grace that fills us and generously sustains us. Praise God! 

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

Inspiration for this Post

This post was inspired after reading Ruth Chou Simon’s book, Beholding and Becoming. I encourage you to check out her book for yourself! The artwork is gorgeous, and her message offers great encouragement for those of us seeking to become more like Christ. 

Be Encouraged by these Posts as well…

Trees are the Answer: Questioning Adversity

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Letting Go of Guilt

Letting Go of Guilt

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

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Clinging to our past is drenching, isn’t it? It keeps us from experiencing the fullness of the present.

Sometimes we just need to let go.

Perhaps it’s pride from past successes, insecurities that we’ve allowed to define us, pain from hurtful experiences, or crippling guilt from our mistakes.

Is there anything from your past that you need to let go of?

I’d like to share a little bit of my personal story with you, and why I am learning to let go of the guilt and shame from my past. 

First, let’s consider the following scriptures.

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:22-23)

 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 17-19a)

 

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)

 

There is beauty in the letting go of our past. 

The source of this beauty is God and his love for us, his chosen and dearly loved children. In his great grace, he forgives our sins and offers us a life filled with hope and assurance in what truly matters.

He wants us to let go.

 

My girls and I often walk in our local arboretum. Recently we’ve been enjoying the changing leaves and crisp autumn air.

I believe it reflects God’s grace. He paints the trees such glorious colors as they prepare to let go of their leaves. They let go of their leaves in order to sustain themselves through the winter, and so that they will be able to produce new life. I’ve been pondering this and reflecting on my own story, particularly a chapter I haven’t been able to turn the page on. 

 

During one of our evening walks, I watched my daughters giggle and play. I soaked in the sweet thoughts my five year old was sharing with me. I gave recognition to the value and blessings in this season of my life, and I knew it was time.

It was time to let go.

If I was going to flourish in the here and now then I needed to let go of the old parts of my story that left me feeling insignificant, stuck, and unfit for kingdom work.  I wanted to embrace the new chapter God was writing.

The specifics of my guilt aren’t really that important. In our selfishness, we all give way to sin. We all have reason for guilt. 

Dwelling on our past or how we thought life was supposed to be is a useless waste of energy. We can’t go back and do things differently. We can however, look to our past and see how God has worked in our life. We can remember lessons learned. We can consider where God’s brought us, and look for ways to bring him glory here, in our current circumstances.

We can’t grow in the past, but if we let go of what’s holding us there we can grow in the present.

 

It’s easier said than done. Letting go of guilt is especially difficult when we are living in the consequences of our sin.

There may be other people involved, you might be dealing with mental health issues, regular health issues, or you might have suffered loss. You might have a cost to pay.

Through this, it’s important to keep an eternal perspective.

Yes, we have to deal with the results of our actions, but we don’t have to wear the shame as our label.

We can let go and grow!

Doesn’t that sound better than clinging to our past mistakes, and wallowing in our guilt?

Which response will cause us to be more effective for the Kingdom?

Life is certainly filled with hills and valleys and some people face more difficult times than others. These chapters are hard, but even in them we can serve the Lord.

The purpose of bringing God glory exists in all of our chapters, not just the easier ones.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

 

 

“Letting go” isn’t about forgetting all of our bad memories or ignoring what other people think about us.

It’s not even about feeling happy. It’s about letting go of our sin and guilt, experiencing the fullness of our salvation in Jesus Christ so that we might be fruitful. 

So how do you do this?

Well, I don’t have all of the answers for you, but I know a good place to start. Fill your heart and mind with scriptures that speak of the assurance of your salvation. The above scriptures are wonderful ones to meditate on and memorize if you are struggling to release your guilty past. 

Here is the truth, friend:

If you have accepted salvation in Jesus then God intends for you to live with joy and freedom.  Without Christ we were headed toward death, but with him we are forgiven of sins, made clean, and headed toward heaven!

So let go of your sin and guilt, and live in the light of your eternity!

 

 

 

**

If you have not received salvation in Jesus and you would like to know more about God’s life changing grace then please reach out to our Creating a Great Day team. It would be our privilege to talk about the Gospel with you. 🙂

 

Let Me Live That I May Praise You

Let Me Live That I May Praise You

April E

I grew up in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma Christian University. Right after earning my degree in Music Education I moved to Germany to do mission work for 5 years. During those 5 years, I married my husband and we eventually became parents to our spunky daughter! We settled back in Oklahoma and added an energetic son to our family! I am now a stay-at-home mom who is still very passionate about mission work, Germany, singing, family, and most of all, my relationship with God.
April E

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Transitions: Let Me Live That I May Praise You

One thing I think all of us have in common at some point in our lives is going through some sort of transition. Whether big or small, transitions can be hard. But life is full of them and full of ups and downs as well.

God Changed My Heart

I feel like I have also had many transitions in my life.

In college, I was sure that I wanted to teach music and live in Oklahoma the rest of my life.

God surprisingly changed my heart and led me to Germany. I spent 5 years living in Germany and serving as a missionary. It was my full time job.

At the end of the 5 years, we decided it was time to move back to Oklahoma and see what God had in store for us here. That transition was probably one of the most difficult transitions I have been through, but I don’t regret any of the experiences I had through it all.

The Struggles

One aspect of that transition that was difficult was the fact that I had been a full time missionary, whose job was to spread the Good News as much as possible on a daily basis. Coming to Oklahoma, I had to struggle with finding my identity and my “job title”.

Here, I was, a stay-at-home Mom and wife.

I didn’t feel like I had a specific task, besides taking care of my family, which I know is a very important task.

I felt like something was missing, though.

Then, I came to the realization that even though my official title was not “Missionary” anymore, I was still a child of God and my task on this earth was to still be a missionary wherever I was.

My name doesn’t have to be on a church bulletin under the list of Missionaries, to be a Missionary.  

Same Passion, Different Location

My passion was still the same… to spread the love of God and teach the Good News as much as possible on a daily basis. It may look different than it did when I lived in Germany, but every day I have to find ways to share that love with others.

Fulling Our Passion Purpose

We as Christians, all have the same title as Missionary.

We are all here on this earth for a reason. Our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus are, and should always be, our first love.

No matter what our professional titles may be, or no matter what transitions we may be going through, the constant is our love for God and hopefully our passion to share that with others.

No matter what job or responsibilities we have to take care of, our greatest responsibility is to share our love of God with others.

Psalms: That I may Praise You

Let’s look at the Psalms and talk more about this passion for God and how we can live it out.

In Psalm 119:169, I feel like the author is praying for God to help them grow that passion and to live it out.

169 May my cry come before you, Lord;
    give me understanding according to your word.
170 May my supplication come before you;
    deliver me according to your promise.
171 May my lips overflow with praise,
    for you teach me your decrees.
172 May my tongue sing of your word,
    for all your commands are righteous.
173 May your hand be ready to help me,
    for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, Lord,
    and your law gives me delight.
175 Let me live that I may praise you,
    and may your laws sustain me.
176 I have strayed like a lost sheep.
    Seek your servant,
    for I have not forgotten your commands.

Our Passion in Perspective

I just love that passage in Psalms. It really puts the phrase being passionate about our relationship with God into perspective.

Some of the words that are used could help us understand how we can be passionate about our relationship with God too.

Psalm 119:169 – Crying Out

In verse 169, the author cries out to God. In any situation, whether difficult or crying out with praise for the good things He does for us, crying out is a beautiful thing. Just like in our prayer lives and being in His presence, we should communicate our feelings to Him.

I still remember a good friend of mine sharing a Psalm with me and telling me it was ok to tell God how I felt, even in deep sadness. He showed me the examples that are written in the Psalms and how open and honest David was about his feelings.

God wants us to openly communicate with Him. It can bring us closer to Him.

Psalm 119:169 – Give Me Understanding

The second part of verse 169 says, “give me understanding.” Understanding His word, and especially searching for understanding of His word by studying it, is another way to show our passion.

How can we understand God better without being in His word and studying and trying to understand His words better?

Psalm 119:170 – Supplication

Verse 170 uses the word supplication. The definition of supplication is the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly. Similar to crying out to Him, is being in supplication.

Have you ever had a time in your life, when you were on your knees, begging for God to help you? I have, and although it was not the happiest point in my life, I never have felt closer to God, than when I was in supplication to Him, asking Him to help me in that time in my life.

Going through that was a bonding experience with God. I felt his presence at my darkest hour.

Psalm 1119:171 – Overflow with Praise

Verse 171 says, “May my lips overflow with praise.” How much do we talk about our love of God in our everyday lives?

I know at times I’m guilty of staying quiet about it, especially around others that I know don’t share my beliefs. Is that what we are supposed to do?

I know we have to use discernment in regards to talking about our faith with others. On one hand, we don’t want to bombard someone who is already cynical or negative about God or our beliefs. We could possibly cause them to put up more barriers if we’re too pushy.

Also, for someone who doesn’t even know God, it may seem like a foreign language to them. I know how frustrating and discouraging that can be because of my experience in Germany. I remember wanting nothing more than to take part in a conversation, but instead just sitting there silently, trying to understand what is being said.

Let’s also think about how people who don’t know God might feel if we were to seemingly start to speak another language. There are small ways we can let our faith be known, without putting any pressures on others or making them feel frustrated.

If we can share about how we believe God helped us through something, could it possibly pique their interest?

We can’t control if someone believes that God truly did help us, but if we show how certain we are, is that not planting the seed?

Maybe just showing our sincere faith is what they need to see in order to question their own faith.

Hopefully, we can find small ways to express our praise to God and let others know about our faith.

Gratefulness

Also, being genuinely grateful and telling God how thankful we are for the things He has done for us is so important. We need to tell Him how much we love and appreciate Him.

If you’re a parent, you know the amazing feeling you get when your child sees the many sacrifices you make for them and then thank you for it. There have been times when I’ve gone out of my way to do something for my kids, only to be frustrated that I did them, because it either didn’t end with good behavior from them or they didn’t thank me for the lengths I went to. But when they see my efforts and thank me with grateful hearts, it really warms my heart and makes me so happy to see their appreciation.

I know I shouldn’t always expect appreciation, but it sure does feel good when I get it. I think God must feel the same way when we turn to Him and thank Him for the things He does for us!

Psalm 146:2 says,

“I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” I want my lips to overflow with praise and I hope we can also find the many positive things that God does and thank Him for it!”

Psalm 119:172 – Sing Your Word

Verse 172 says that we “sing of your word.” As some of you know, music is very important to me. I love singing and I feel so much closer to God when I can be singing and worshiping Him. There is something special about singing praises to our Savior.

I love the verse Psalm 84:4 that says,

“Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!”

What joy God must feel to hear His beloved children singing praises to Him! I can’t wait to sing in heaven someday with all of God’s children! I can’t even imagine how wonderful that will be!

Psalms 119:173 – Choosing God’s Precepts

Verse 173 says that I have chosen your precepts (commandments/ instructions). To choose something isn’t just to mentally decide on something, but it also means to actively choose it by following the precepts or commands and instructions.

If we don’t follow what God instructs us to do, how can we be close to Him or show our passion for Him to others?

It looks a little hypocritical if we say one thing, but do another, doesn’t it?

I know I’m not perfect and do and say things I regret all the time, but if I’m not constantly trying to correct myself and better myself to be more like Christ, then I’m not any better than the Pharisees were during the time of Jesus’ life.

In Matthew 15, the Pharisees asked Jesus why the disciples broke the tradition of the elders. The disciples didn’t wash their hands when they ate. Jesus’ answer to them was basically, “why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”

In verses 7-9, Jesus calls them hypocrites and quotes Isaiah, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

It is important that our beliefs and choices are lived out through our actions and that our hearts are fully invested in God’s instructions.

Psalm 119:174 – Delighting

Verse 174 says that “I long for your salvation and your law is my delight.” This makes me think of Psalm 42:1-2.

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?

Have you ever longed to see someone? Maybe your spouse, significant other, family member or best friend?

Maybe it’s been awhile or you are far away? You can’t wait to talk to them or see them and hug them.

Do we feel this same longing to spend time with God? Are we excited to get to have some quiet time in prayer and stillness with Him?

Sometimes, I forget that is the kind of longing He wants us to have in our relationship with Him. I hope that I can grow in that longing and delight in my Savior every day.

Psalms 119: 175 – Live that I may Praise you

Verse 175 is probably my favorite verse. “Let me live that I may praise you.” I pray that my whole life can be praise for God and I hope that I can always re-evaluate my life to see if that is how I’m living.

Psalm 150:6 says,

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”

Every single one of us were created with God’s breath so that we could live with Him and for Him and praise Him!

Colossions 3:17 says,

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Every moment of our lives should be lived TO and FOR Him, who has done so much for us! I love the words in the hymn “O Sacred Head” that say, “Lord, let me never, never, outlive my love for Thee.”

Psalms 119:176 – We Have Strayed

Verse 176 says we have strayed like a lost sheep. We also need to realize our faults and failures and ask God to forgive us and to please continue searching for us and bringing us back to the fold.

We need our Savior and we must realize that need.

Also, we can’t forget His commands. We may temporarily forget and make mistakes, but we need these to be in our hearts and minds and never permanently forgotten. We should continually remind ourselves of these commandments.

I hope this is a helpful reminder to always be passionate about our faith in relationship in Christ!

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you so much for your goodness, your faithfulness and your love. May you help us to be unified together through your Spirit and may we all seek you every day.

We want to be passionate about you in all that we do and say every day. Help us to rekindle our passion for you and to spread it to others.

It’s in Jesus’ Holy name that we pray, Amen.

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Five Encouraging Psalms to Start Your Day

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Follow Susan

Susan

Susan York Meyers is the author of several children’s books, including the picture book, Grrr…Night! for which she won the Creative Women of Oklahoma Award. If you enjoy Susan’s humor, check out Two Little Old Ladies: It’s all in the Attitude, a humorous inspirational book combining both fiction and devotionals. Susan lives with her hubby and Kira, the dog that thinks she’s people. You can find out more about Susan and her books at susanameyers.com. Sign up for her newsletter which comes out four times a year.
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Ambition

Even as a newborn, I knew I was destined to be a blonde. Yet somehow fate gave me a head full of bushy, dark hair. So, I spent the time in my crib rubbing my head against the mattress until all the brunette fell out.

My hair grew back in golden blonde, my destiny. I was blonde all my school years, although at some point, I realized my hair had darkened. I had become more of a dishwater blonde, but still blonde. My identity remained intact.

Sometime after my son was born, my husband and my brother-in-law engaged in a discussion on the color of my hair. (Why they were discussing my hair has been lost to history.) My husband contended I was a blonde, while my brother-in-law insisted I had, at best, light-brown hair.

I took a good look in the mirror.

Had I really gone to the dark side? Let’s just say, my hair wasn’t as blonde as I’d have liked it to be. Easily rectified, and for the next 25 or so years, I rectified it.

But lately, I’ve been thinking about going natural.

This isn’t as easy a decision as you might think. I’ve worked a lot of years at being a blonde. I realize in this era of changing your hair color to suit your mood – pink, brown, purple, blonde – it’s become more spur of the moment fun, than a life changing decision.

My choice shouldn’t be that monumental. But you have to realize, I grew up in the “blondes have more fun” era, Farah Fawcett flanked by two brunettes, blonde ambition, etc.…

Invested or Involved?

Lately my ongoing hair debate has made me think.

Do we sometimes face an identity dilemma as Christians?

We carry on as always. But is it really “us” anymore?

We are involved; no one can say we don’t do our part. But sometimes I think we use the word involved when we should use the word invested.

Are we invested as Christians?

You can be involved, but not invested:

  • You teach class because someone has to do it.
  • You attend a Small Group because your spouse wants to go.
  • You are in the pew at worship time because it’s your duty.

But does God only want us to scratch the surface as Christians?

When you are invested:

  • You teach because you are helping grow a new generation of Christians.
  • You attend a Small Group because you want to get to know your fellow Christians on a deeper level as you study God’s word.
  • You are in the pew at worship time because you are honoring and praising God.

As with anything, it comes down to attitude.

As we constantly search our hearts and minds, ever guarding against becoming complacent in our worship of the Creator, we need to not only be involved, but be involved because we are invested.

As for my hair, am I still invested in being blonde? My hair dresser and I will let you know.

Be encouraged by these posts as well…

Changed by God’s Word

Praying Luke: Glorifying the Lord in the Big & Small Details!

When Church Doors Close

Waiting on the Lord

Waiting on the Lord

Waiting on the Lord

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

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Vivid memories still linger from my childhood of those aching days before something exciting was going to take place. Perhaps it was spring break or a birthday. In my teen years it was summer camps.

Countless times I’d count down the days. Those periods of waiting might have felt unbearable at the time, but they were also exciting because I knew it would come to an end. The activity was marked on the calendar and I knew how long I’d have to wait.

Waiting on the Lord without a Set Date

Oh, but there are many times when what we desire isn’t marked on a schedule or calendar. Recently our 4 year old cashed in $5 worth of allowance quarters for a small Minnie Mouse doll- an item she’d spent months longing for.

Every time we went to the store she’d ask us if she had enough. We counted her money over and over, but without a clear concept of the value of money, she didn’t really understand. To her it felt endless. We were all weary from her waiting and it was a time of rejoicing when the wait came to an end.

Why Is It Taking So Long?

We can so relate to our children in their times of waiting, can’t we? Waiting is a life long experience in one way or another. Sadly, even as adults we don’t always handle it well.

I’ve had a particular request that I’ve been lifting to the Lord for years. At times I’ve been in such distress over it that I’ve found myself in doubt and anger.

“Where are you God? Why is this taking so long?”

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

The Opportunity in Waiting on the Lord

In the last year I’ve been challenged to consider my desires a little more closely. Could it be that God has withheld this good thing from me because he wanted me to draw closer to Him?

While I can’t know for certain the reasons for my situation, I can (and should) analyze the status of my heart. In the past, I’ve held this request as something that is of the upmost importance for my happiness and worthiness on this earth.

Through this time of waiting, I’ve grown closer to the Lord and found more of the happiness and worth that comes through Jesus. He’s given me comforts and answers in other areas. He has blessed me with the assurance of his presence in my daily life. In this time of waiting I have been able to more fully know the joy that comes from God alone.

God’s Faithfulness While We are Waiting

“Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! I say, ‘The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks him. It is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” –Lamentations 3:22-26 (CSB)

I’ve always loved this passage from Lamentations 3. It was written in the context of waiting for an earthly deliverance, but it is a reminder for all of us that God is merciful to us and that He is enough. Our joy today is that He offers us salvation through Jesus. We have an eternal deliverance from our sin, and the gift of His Spirit.

My Heart While I’m Waiting on the Lord

I will continue to offer up my request to the Lord. He knows my heart and He tells me I can bring my burdens to Him. I will not complain to Him though, as if he hasn’t already filled me with the greatest joy I could ever know. My happiness and worth do not depend on my unmet desires, my happiness and worth is set in Christ alone. “The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore I will hope in him.” (Lam. 3:24 KJV)

Encouragement for Your Heart

Are you waiting on the Lord in an area of your life?

Sweet one, I know that it is not easy. Waiting never is. I encourage you to draw yourself closer to the Lord when you are tempted to back away and doubt. Open your Bible and read it’s accounts. Start a prayer journal. Fill your soul with songs of praise. Feel His gentle whispers on the other pages of your heart.

What we long for we may never receive. May our true joy come not from our earthly circumstances but from our eternal destination. Praise Him, we are rescued!



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