Strange Way to Save the World – Michael Crawford

Strange Way to Save the World – Michael Crawford

Lana W

Lana W

I’m Lana, a native Oklahoman. Married 17 years to the first boy I ever dated. Mama to two amazing, darling girls. I’m a coffee-drinking, book-reading, home-educating night owl! An accountant in my life B.C. (Before Children), my dream job would be getting paid to read all day.And if you’re into Meyers-Briggs personality tests, I’m an ISTJ. Most important of all, I’m a follower of Christ.
Lana W

Joseph’s Reaction to Mary’s News

Don’t you wonder what Joseph thought when Mary told him she was going to have a baby? I can just imagine his shock at the news. I’ve always thought he must have been hurt and disappointed at first, maybe even angry. Matthew tells us that Joseph’s first reaction was to divorce Mary quietly. If Joseph had divorced Mary, how drastically different the story of Jesus would be! Once he accepted the news as God’s plan for a Savior, don’t you think he must have thought it was a strange way to save the world?

Fortunately for us and for the rest of the world, the Bible tells us that “while Joseph considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream” and gave him the rest of the story, so to speak. Aren’t you glad Joseph followed the angel’s instructions and married Mary despite his first doubts?

Have you ever considered that Mary might have had doubts about what the angel told her as well? Luke 1 says that Mary was greatly troubled at the angel’s greeting. And although she had questions for the messenger, she seemed to quickly accept what he told her.

Knowing our human penchant for questioning and doubting is one of the reasons I like this song so well. If I were Mary, I don’t know that I could have accepted the angel’s message as easily as she seemed to. But it seems to be part of her personality to reflect and carefully consider everything she observed concerning her son who would be the Messiah. (Luke 2:19; Luke 2:51).

May we all have a simple faith and an obedient trust like Mary did!

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Colossians 3:16

“Mary, Did You Know?” by Pentatonix {Music Monday}

“Mary, Did You Know?” by Pentatonix {Music Monday}

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 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & 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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“I am the servant girl of the Lord, let this happen to me.”  

This version of Luke 1:38 is from an easy-to-read version.  It is powerful on so many levels, but one in particular because it begs to ask the question:

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Am I willing to be a servant girl of the Lord?

We’ve shared this version of “Mary Did you Know?” by Pentatonix before.  Not only is it beautiful, but it really seems to let this idea echo off our hearts.

Did you know that God would call you for this?

Are you ready and willing to trust Him so completely that at a moment’s notice you will accept a complete life change?

Are you ready to possibly be shunned by your family, friends, and/or society because of how God will work through you?

Are you ready to be the “servant girl” of the Lord, no matter the cost?

Are you ready to love so completely and trust that God will carry your broken heart?

If you knew all these things would happen, would you still choose to follow God’s calling?

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Lord, you are awesome and holy and your ways are beyond our imagination.  You have created the world, conquered the hold death had over us, and brought about a total and complete hope into our lives!  Help us to trust you like Mary did.  Help us to readily trust and obey your calling in our lives and to trust that you will walk with us every step of the path you call us to walk.  When things get tough, help us to hold firm in our faith and not doubt your truth.  In the One who knew what it would mean to leave heaven, walk this Earth, and save us from our sins – Amen!

This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine

This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine

Toni D

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

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Start a Fire

Do you ever hear songs on the radio but you do not actually listen to them?  I do it all the time.  I hear the music but I do not pay much attention to the words.  Recently, I was listening to the radio while driving and “Start a Fire” by Unspoken came on.  As I began singing along, the words just hit me.

Start a fire in my soul,
Fan the flame and make it grow.
So there’s no doubt or denying.
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see,
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need.
Start a fire in me.

When did we lose our fire?

As children, we learned “This Little Light of Mine.”

This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Is Your Light Shining?

These songs have the same basic message, so we have learned this from an early age.  Is our light shining?  Do we share the love of God with people who come across our path?  What does this look like? Shining your light can look like kind words or actions to people we know or people we do not know.  Encourage those who are having difficulties.  Mow a neighbor’s lawn.  Babysit for a friend.  Of course, these do not have to be overtly “Christian” acts.  We shine our light by words and deeds.  We should be asking God to put in us a fire burns so brightly that our light shines for all to see.

This Little Light of Mine

How do you shine your light?

 

 

What Faith Can Do: The Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame {Music Monday}

What Faith Can Do: The Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame {Music Monday}

Toni D

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

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Faith!

We talk about it all the time.  Faith is the basis of our religion.  But do we truly have faith?

A few Sundays ago, my husband filled in for our pastor.  He was asked to share his testimony about when he had his heart attack.  His story is incredible.  We experienced so many miracles that day, all because of my husband’s faith that God would get him through it.  As soon as he realized what was happening, he started praying!

Let me back up a minute and share that our daughter begins our service by leading a praise song.  She had no idea that her father would be preaching on faith.  The song she chose that week was “What Faith Can Do” by Kutless.  Is it not wonderful how God puts everything together?

Hebrews 11: The Faith Hall of Fame

This “testimony” led to a full-blown sermon on faith.  As my husband prepared his lesson, he felt God telling him that he was missing that point of his testimony.  He preached from Hebrews 11.  The first three verses state:

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the men of old gained approval.  By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

Hebrews 11:1-3, NASB

Throughout Hebrews 11, Paul tells of the faith of people in the Old Testament: Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Noah, and many others.  These people had faith that God would get them through difficult times and/or give them promises.  They believed God would deliver them no matter how bleak things looked.

Share!

My husband ended his sermon with the fact that we should be sharing our faith, teaching others about what faith really is.  As Hebrews 11:6 says, “…Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  We must have faith!

Do you truly have faith?

Do you share/show that faith?

Please share a story of when God provided because of your faith.

 

Words Have Power {Music Monday}

Words Have Power {Music Monday}

Toni D

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

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Sticks and Stones…

…may break my bones, but WORDS will never hurt me.  We have been told this since we were little children.  How true is this?  Are our words harmless? Or do our words have power?

Words have power.

Words can affect us for a lifetime!  Things we say can determine our own or others’ futures.  I am the worst at just blurting things out without thinking.  I am not known for my tact.  God has really been convicting me of this lately.  About a year ago, a song came on the radio.  I had heard “Words” by Hawk Nelson before, but this time it really convicted me.

Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out
Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

Do Your Words Show God’s Love?

I do not want my words to tear people down or to hurt them.  Instead, I want my words to be uplifting and empowering, helpful and inspiring.  But mostly, I want my words to show God’s love!

Once our words leave our mouths, we cannot take them back.  They are out there, and you cannot change them.  They have done either damage or good.

words-kill-words-give-life-theyre-either-poison-or-fruit-you-choose

I have had this happen to me.  Things have been said to me in passing that ended up changing who I was. On at least one occasion, it caused me harm.  I became anorexic because of something that was said to me.  I’m sure most of these things were not said to hurt me, but many ultimately did.

Most of us have been hurt by things others have said, either purposely or inadvertently.  Think about those times and how you felt when you heard those words.  Is that how we want to make others feel?  We should be positive in what we say.  Let’s build each other up with positive words.

Let our words be Life! Let our words be Truth!

There is power in our words!

Let your speech always be gracious

words-have-power-pinterest

words-have-power-social
Getting Rid of Picture Perfect

Getting Rid of Picture Perfect

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 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & 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.

Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Do you struggle with perfectionism?  Are you able to be transparent and share with others that your life isn’t picture perfect?

When I was in high school, I had quotes and signs all over my room.  Two signs I made said:

Nobody is perfect, but that is no excuse!

&

Practice makes improvement.

For years upon years, I lived my life trying to achieve the best. I would practice extra hours on the track.  I would redo and rewrite papers and projects as much as needed until I had my projects and papers as close to perfect as I could get.  I remember in college one of my professors commenting that I should have turned in my first draft instead of the 5th, because it would have worked too.

Part of me was doing it because I love a challenge and knew I could do better.  The other part was doing it out of fear of failure.  We need to distinguish what drives our need for perfection and take hold of it, if the root cause lies in fear and not love.

Now, I’m not saying that we should not try our best, but I’ve learned that we can waste a lot of time trying to be perfect.

What are we afraid of?

Sometimes, trying to reach perfection keeps us from taking action!  It causes us to freeze in fear of messing up. What exactly are we afraid of if we do mess up?

  • Doing it wrong?
  • Feeling like we might be ridiculed?
  • Feeling that we won’t be valuable?
  • Believing God’s grace is insufficient for us?
  • Thinking that we won’t be trusted if we can’t get it right?
  • What????

We are called to live like we are loved not like we are perfect!

If we live in fear of messing up and not being perfect then we are like the one who was given a talent and instead of doing anything with it, hid it in the ground! He made no profit, didn’t even try.  Instead, he did absolutely nothing productive.  He froze in fear.

When the master returned to find that he didn’t even try to do anything with it, he was punished.

Matthew 25:24-30

He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

We should never allow fear of imperfection keep us from working in God’s kingdom.  God has put us right where we need to be, has given us access to what we need to accomplish the goals He has set before us, and doesn’t ask us to rely on ourselves. Instead, the Lord asks us to rely on Him.  He will get us through any situation and will even use our weaknesses to bring about his glory.

Are you willing?

Are you willing to allow God to use your weakness or are you too scared to show others that you have any?

When we mask our weaknesses, we are not only being deceitful but we are hindering God from using them for his glory.  Satan then can use this to make others feel alone, like they are the only ones having to fight this battle.  Here’s the truth:  You are not going through anything that someone else has not already gone through!  You are not alone in your weakness!

But [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
– The Lord to Paul, 2 Corinthians 12:9

Christ died for our imperfections.

Let’s not pretend like we don’t have any.  And let us be gracious as we see the imperfections of others.

I still believe practice makes improvement and that we are not all perfect.  But I am trying to no longer waste time in achieving absolute perfection.  Not everything needs to be 100% perfect.  Sometimes, we need to just do our best, not stress over potential failure, and trust that the Lord can use any weakness we have for his glory!

Every time I hear this song by Hawk Nelson called Live Like You’re Loved, I double check myself and see if I’m wasting time running after perfection because of fear.  Are you ready to get rid of the picture perfect life?

 

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