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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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!



Changed by God’s Word

Changed by God’s Word

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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“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”

Isaiah 40:8

Changed by God’s Word

In our part of the country the changes of season are in the air. The wind chills the cheeks of my girls as we play outside in our front yard. The leaves of our three oak trees are falling from the busy squirrel up above. The mums and pansies shine bright, but most of the other flowers are wilting away. The blooms of my crape myrtles have all blown off. Leaves in the trees surrounding us are turning golden. In a few weeks our grass will be dry and brown. Autumn has come.

While Isaiah 40:8 is about much more than the turning of season, I can’t help but be reminded of it this time of year. There is something that doesn’t pass away. The living word of God. As autumn progresses we will find ourselves in the holiday rush, a time of year that is so easy to become consumed with matters of this earth. Thoughts about our holiday outfits, our Thanksgiving table, sports, the pumpkin path, the Santa picture, lights, our decorations, our greeting cards, the parties to attend… while none of it is wrong, it can be overwhelming. So what a breath of fresh air to be reminded that the matters of this earth aren’t as important as we make them out to be. How important it is to be reminded that the word of God is eternal, that his promises are true.

I love the song,

Ancient Words.

“Holy words long preserved

for our walk in this world,

They resound with God’s own heart

Oh, let the ancient words impart. 

Words of Life, words of Hope. 

Give us strength, help us cope

In this world, where e’re we roam

Ancient words will guide us home

Ancient words ever true

changing me, and changing you.

We have come with open hearts

Oh let the ancient words impart. 

Holy words of our Faith

Handed down to this age.

Came to us through sacrifice.”  

The Power of God’s Word

Not only is God’s word eternal, but it contains the power to change us- really change us.

God’s Word Creates Action

If you’ve never watched the movie, Monumental by Kirk Cameron, I encourage you to do so! It is a wonderful documentary about the Christian roots of America. This film begins with the story of the Puritans, and goes into great detail to share the hardships they faced as they broke away from the Church of England and fled to Holland, and later the New World. These were men and woman who were deeply changed by God’s word. These were people who had grasped the concept that God’s word stands forever, and that the needs we have on this Earth are trivial compared to salvation. Oh, what sacrifices they made, many even loosing their life. God’s word mattered to them, and they wanted to preserve it for future generations. The movie is centered around the National Monument to the Forefathers in Boston, which shows how much they prioritized the word of God. The Bible was worth sacrificing everything for, and it was important to preserve it and pass it down to future generations.

Yes, these men and women had been truly changed by God’s word.

How has God’s word changed you? 

Personally, one of my greatest battles is insecurity, and I have been changed by God’s word time and time again when I go to Him in my distress. At times my eyes are opened to changes I need to make, and other times I’m reminded of who I am to Him. Over and over, he blesses me through his word.

Let me honest with you though- I’m not always allowing it to work in my life. I can’t tell you how many mornings I finish my reading only to become easily angered with my family, or selfish in my time, greedy in my wants, or wallow in my insecurity. I am human, I confess. I must choose to be changed.

God’s word is powerful, and if we want to reap it’s benefit, we must be willing to accept it, to let it cut us to the heart. We must allow the comfort in his message give us grounding peace. We must act upon the the convictions these words bring. We must be willing to as James so boldly put it, do what it says! (James 1:22)

There will always be more to learn, we will never grasp it all. Yet no matter where we are on our spiritual journey, these ancient words can convict and change. No matter the trends of culture, they are relevant. His word stands forever.

This time of the year can be quite full. Let’s not forget to prioritize time in our Bible, and to truly let it convict our hearts. Let us not be afraid to be deeply changed by God’s word!

 

 

 

 

Looking to Him

Looking 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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Looking to Him in Our Shame

David is known as a man after God’s own heart, but if you study his life, it won’t take you long to realize that he wasn’t without blemish. While known for his courage, he also faced moments of fear. One of these times is recorded in 1 Samuel chapter 21.

“That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish, king of Gath. But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: ” ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?”

David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.”

1 Samuel 21:10-13, emphasis mine

Afraid…David?

I’m a little taken when I read that David was afraid. Is this the same man who so confidently defeated Goliath? I can only imagine the embarrassment our strong and confident David felt after giving such a display. The Bible doesn’t really tell us that David felt shame over his actions. I have to wonder though, how would he have handled the situation if instead of fear, he’d felt as confident in the Lord as he did when the giant came down?

When the king saw his unsound state, he insisted that David leave. David fled to a cave. It is believed by scholars that at this time David wrote Psalm 34.

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
Psalm 34:4-5

Their faces are never covered in shame. 

Shame

I wonder if David felt shame while drooling and scratching at the door. I wonder if he was looking back at his past actions and wishing he’d looked to the Lord in his fear. Be my thoughts inline with David’s thought process or not, I find comfort and direction in his psalm.

I so often feel ashamed with myself.

Ashamed for opportunities missed.

Ashamed for comments said or judgements made.

Ashamed for my idleness.

Ashamed for my shortcomings.

The shame is heavy and holds me down. In this pit, I’m only looking inward at what I can do. In this pit, I feel inadequate for kingdom work. In this pit, I’ve forget who I am in God.

Never Covered in Shame

I believe that David forgot who he was when he was faced with this fear. He forgot that God had chosen him to be king, that the battle was the Lord’s. But as he later says, those who look to him are radiant and their faces aren’t covered in shame!

Oh how, I love David’s declaration!

In Romans 8:1-2 Paul tells us, “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.”

When I look inwardly it’s no wonder that I feel insecure. When I focus on God, and what He’s done for me I don’t have to feel ashamed. I can move on and be empowered to take advantage of the opportunities He gives.

We must remember to look to Him and see that we’ve been forgiven, and that our flesh might be weak, but the spirit is powerful!

David was able to move on from his lowly encounter. He gave praise to God for delivering him and continued to seek God’s will. Yes, he would stumble, but David was a man of worship. He continued to look to God and seek His will. Oh, that we might do the same!

A Prayer Over Our Hearts

Father God,

We praise you for the mighty God that you are, and for delivering us from sin! In all circumstances, may we look to you. Draw us to your presence and help us to remember who we are in you. May our lives not be liven selfishly, but instead for your glory. Use us to advance your kingdom! 

In the Name of Jesus, 

Amen 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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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Glorifying the Lord

In the small details of her daily life as well as the big moments, Mary’s way of glorifying the Lord found favor with the Lord. This favor brought her some startling news. News that filled her heart with joy but brought a reality of being separated and set apart.

To hear the words that you are highly favored and will carry God’s son may have caused initial anxiety in some of our hearts, but Mary humbled herself to the Lord once again saying, “I am the servant girl of the Lord, let this thing happen to me.”

Yet, even though she humbled herself, she still quickly made her way to another who may have been the only one to understand what she was going through at the moment. The only one who could give her the encouragement she needed to hear so she could know that what she had just experienced wasn’t a dream. It was reality. A reality that would cause her to burst into glorifying the Lord even more.

Oh, Lord, may we also humble ourselves to your will and be your servants! May we glorify you in the big and small details of our lives!

Luke 1:38

Lord, you are holy and know what we need!

When you call us, instead of fighting you, may we be humble in heart like Mary and answer similarly:

“I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Oh, Lord, to have a willing heart to let you lead our souls and lives! That is what we want!

That is how we want to follow you!

In the One who is the ultimate example of how to walk in your ways – Amen!

Luke 1:39-40

God your grace is so good!

Not only did you choose to use Mary, your humble servant, but you gifted her heavenly and earthly support.

You knew that a pregnant virgin would gather some negative attention and be challenged, so you gifted her with a relative who was experiencing a similar miraculous event!

Lord, we know that when we trust in you that others will mock us too. Others will try to persuade us that following you is only causing us harm, but you are so good to support us spiritually and physically too.

Thank you for those who boldly walk in your ways and encourage others to do the same. Help us to be one of those who will trust in your ways even when it makes our lives more difficult.

You never promised this world would be easy, but you did promise you would walk with us along this journey.

In the One who walked the road to the cross on our behalf – Amen!

Luke 1:41-45

Lord, you know our hearts so well!

Even when we have listened and accepted the calling you have for us, sometimes we need affirmation. It seems like that is what you are doing here.

When Mary greeted Elizabeth, not only did little baby John leap for joy, but through the Holy Spirit, you confirmed a blessing upon Mary!

We can’t help but giggle that the blessing was exclaimed in a loud voice! Surely, Mary couldn’t have been far away. She was standing inside Zechariah and Elizabeth’s home and yet, you spoke loudly to her.

Maybe you needed her to hear you over her own thoughts.

Maybe she had just come from talking to Joseph, who was shocked at the news and didn’t know what to do.

Maybe from the time she left Nazareth to the time she arrived in the hill country of Judea, many thoughts had overtaken her and her heart needed to be reminded that this real and not just a dream!

It could have been any number of reasons, but you made a point to loudly exclaim that she was blessed among women.

Lord, we praise you for the reminders in our lives that we are loved by you and can trust you always.

You are an amazing God with an amazing plan. Your way of doing things is definitely not our way of doing things.

And we praise you for finding ways to strengthen our faith in you and what you are doing in our lives just like you did to Mary through Elizabeth!

In the One who proclaimed, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” – Amen!

Luke 1:46-56

Lord, Mary’s song to you is a beautiful reminder of how you take care of those who love you.

She humbled herself to you not only in life but in song. She rejoiced at how you remembered her humbleness and willingness to serve you.

May we remember how you have been faithful throughout the generations and extend your mercy from generation to generation.

We praise you for the amazing gift of life that she carried for 9 months. She literally carried the word of life in her.

Amazingly you have gifted us the Holy Spirit so we may carry the word of life with us too, in a different way, but still we can rejoice because you have gifted us, your humble servants, with such a wonderful blessing.

May we too honor you and choose to give you glory through our times of blessings and difficulties, instead of taking the credit ourselves.

In the One who sealed all who believe in Him and follow His ways with the gift of the Holy Spirit – Amen!

 

 

Pray Luke from the beginning…

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Without Grumbling

Without Grumbling

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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“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, by holding firm to the word of life.” 

Philippians 2:14-16 

An Invitation to Go Without Complaining

I invite you to take a moment to meditate on Philippians 2:14-16. Do you feel you are following this instruction in your day to day life? Would others describe you as blameless and pure? Does your life stand out in this sinful generation we find ourselves in? Are you holding firm to God’s word?

A few weeks ago we read this scripture in our bible class and I could feel my heart freeze. I immediately remembered the way I huffed out of frustration when my daughter wouldn’t leave my feet. I thought about how I often lamented over the stress of motherhood and the envy I’ve often felt in my heart toward my husband who goes off to work around other adults, and finds himself with 60 minutes of commute time each day to listen to whatever he wants.

As I thought about my tendency to grumble, my chest grew tighter as the Sprit continued to convict my heart.

I love staying home with my young children. It is my first choice, but I admit, the enemy has still found footholds through the challenges that come with my day to day life.  The temptation to grumble is not reserved for stay-at-home moms. The enemy hits us all with deceptive ways, no matter our age or circumstance.

And oh, do we grumble.

Scripture gives us a different way to live.

Scripture tells us to live without grumbling. Why? So that we might shine like stars in the world for the purpose of bringing God glory. 

Do you know anyone who is always able to find joy no matter the circumstance? A couple of different people come to my mind. These sweet friends of mine are the brightest lights. They radiate God’s love. I’m always so refreshed after spending time with them. It is not that their life is easy, without any strife.

To live without grumbling is more than just ignoring one’s burdens, it is living with the joy of the Lord inside their heart. Philippians 2:16 says this happens by holding firm to the word of life. We must know God’s word, believe it, and put it into action in our lives. In God’s word, we will find two beautiful characteristics to lace our hearts with.

A Heart of Service 

Matthew 20:28 says “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.”  Grumbles often stem from entitlement. Christ, on the other hand, displayed a very sacrificial way of living. We must reflect on our life circumstances and look for the opportunities to serve and bring God glory.

A Heart of Gratitude

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings; name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us to give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Embracing a heart of gratitude and continually looking for the blessings in life will not only help us to live more joyfully, but will also align our lives to God’s will.

As I’ve reflected on my tendencies to grumble these last couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded to embrace the season I find myself in, and to serve my family patiently and joyfully. I know that I will continue to grumble from time to time, but I pray that God often leads me to this passage in Philippians. In a world that feasts on entitlement and selfishness we will surly shine like stars from the joy of the Lord, if we serve and love those around us without grumbling.

So go ahead, jot down Philippians 2:14-1. Put it in a place where you will see it often and be reminded of a better way to go through your days!

 

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