Scripture Sunday: Psalm 119:114

Scripture Sunday: Psalm 119:114

I have been thinking a lot about springtime being a time of renewal lately. There are many areas of my life in which I am trying to work and change, but my faith remains one of the biggest areas of need.

I have dealt with some painful moments in the past year and it’s been difficult to find peace. I have noticed one constant in the midst of all the chaos and uncertainty. God promised never to forsake us, and when I look back on the past few months of my life, I can see how He has been with me through everything.

In the midst of all the bad things, I began to realize my one comfort came from praying and reading God’s word. This verse perfectly outlines how I’ve felt, as it talks about how we can find refuge in God. He will renew us in His time but we can find shelter in Him while we wait.

Whatever you may be waiting for or hoping for, seek shelter in Him and trust in His timing. He won’t forsake you- ever.

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Scripture Sunday: Romans 12:2

Scripture Sunday: Romans 12:2

Spring is in full swing here in North Carolina. I’ve always loved spring as it is a time of renewal. The world is renewed and everything is green again after the grey of winter has gone.

But did you know we can go through a time of renewal as well? Romans 12:2 is about renewing your walk with God by ensuring you’re not “conforming to this world.” As Christians, we are called to be different and stand out from the world. We are to be a light for God and radiate His love. When we walk with the Lord, we are to put aside worldly things and fill our minds with things that are pleasing to Him.

I have found when I am spending more time in God’s word and listening to Christian music, I feel renewed. This spring, I want to focus on renewing my mind so that I may be closer to Him.

In what ways will you be renewed this spring?

Scripture Sunday: Palm Sunday

Scripture Sunday: Palm Sunday

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What is the significance of Palm Sunday?

Today is one of the most significant days in the Christian calendar- Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, when people crowded the streets and lay palm branches in his path. It marks the beginning of the Holy Week. As Christians, we know that the following Thursday, Jesus was arrested. He was crucified the following day on Good Friday, and rose again three days later.

The following verses from John 12:12-19 explain the scene on Palm Sunday:

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
    sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

Today, I plan to spend time reflecting on the coming week. What do I need to do to prepare my heart for Easter Sunday? What does God want to do in my life this week?

What will you do to prepare?

Choosing to live joyfully…even when you don’t want to.

Choosing to live joyfully…even when you don’t want to.

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In the English Standard Bible, the word “joy,” or other variations such as “joyful” and “rejoice” appear in the Bible some 430 times. You might say joy is important to God. But did you know he wants it to be important to us, too?

In James 1:2-3, God tells us to have joy even when we face trials.

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If you’re like me, then you’d agree that it is easier to be joyful when things are going great, but it is hardest to be joyful when things are going badly. Joy doesn’t just happen though; it is a choice that we must make.

I recently stumbled upon this article by J. I. Packer. In it, he talks about how the book of Ecclesiastes, a book that I am not very familiar with, teaches us how to live, and how to do so joyfully. I found his article to be interesting, with a lot of valid points I’d never considered before.

So, how do you live a life of joy?

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  1. Practice gratitude.

I know it sounds silly to use the word practice here, but think about it. When you pray, or even when you’re just quietly reflecting and thinking, think about what you’re grateful for in your life. It could be the major things, like your home, family and your church, but it could be something small, like the rain, or the fact that your day was good. Being thankful and thanking God gives me great joy, because I remember how much he’s blessed me.

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2. Live in His word

Reading the Bible, praying, and listening to praise and worship music gives me great joy. It’s like refueling an empty gas tank- listening to His music leaves me more fulfilled than anything else I might listen to. Reading His word or about his word makes me feel closer to God. It also keeps me feeling encouraged instead of bogged down and defeated.

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3. Share how God has blessed you with others

When I have been greatly blessed by a sermon at church, an answered prayer, or a song I’ve heard, I love being able to tell someone else about it. When we have something that may bless someone else, I believe it is our duty to share it with them.

How do you experience joy in your life?

Scripture Sunday: Celebrating Easter in God’s Word

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As we draw closer and closer to Easter, I am reminded more and more of why I started this Scripture Sunday blog series in the first place. I was once told if something blesses you, you shouldn’t keep that blessing to yourself, but you should share it so others may be blessed as well.

I have been a fan of Kari Jobe since I first heard the song “I Am Not Alone,” and in fact, hearing that song led me to seek out more of her music. I discovered the song ” Forever,” which I believe to be the perfect Easter song. The songwriter captured so perfectly what Scripture describe as happening during the resurrection.

“The ground began to shake/the stone was rolled away./ His perfect blood could not be overcome./ Now death, where is your sting?/ Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated.”

It’s so powerful to me to think about the anguish and pain Jesus suffered all so we could be free of a life of sin and shame. So we could have eternity in His home. That’s how much we are worth to Him. I’m even more amazed when I think about how Jesus overcame death, so he can surely overcome anything else.

I’ve long been struggling with depression and anxiety, but in recent months, things have really gotten difficult. I’ve prayed so many times that I cannot handle this on my own. The truth is I was never supposed to handle it by myself. A Savior who defeated death to save me can bring me through any valley I face in this life.

If you’re struggling with something right now, know that you are not alone and you don’t have to overcome this on your own. You were never meant to walk alone. Pray about it and ask God to help you get through it.

Have a wonderful week.

 

 

Sunday Musings: Celebrating Easter in God’s Word

Sunday Musings: Celebrating Easter in God’s Word

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Several people have asked how we, as a Christian family, celebrate Easter with little children. In a world where Easter has become giant rabbits and hunting for eggs, how do we keep to the true meaning of Easter in our home?

We do still do Easter baskets for our kids, we d o still color eggs with our kids, and we do still participate in Easter egg hunts. Those things are tradition, but we do these things, too.

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  1. We read “The Story of Easter” by Patricia A. Pingry. I love this book- it is colorful, well-written, and it explains the Easter story in a way that our children really understand it. They have asked some great questions over the years, and they’ve learned from just reading this book. It’s available on Amazon, and if you’re not into this particular book, there are others that are just as great.

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2. Make “resurrection rolls!” Recipe can be found here. 

This is a fabulous way to demonstrate the Easter story and resurrection to your children. Plus, they are quick and easy to make, and they taste amazing!

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3. We go to church on Easter Sunday

Our church has traditionally held a Sunrise service, breakfast and regular church service. We always enjoy celebrating our risen Savior, as well as fellowshipping with our fellow church members.

How do you and your family observe the Easter season?

 

Sunday Musings: Matthew 28:6

My goal in the remaining weeks til Easter is to really pray and prepare my heart for not only Easter but our upcoming revival. I plan to share some different Printables for Easter related verses as well.

If you don’t celebrate Easter, you may not know why Christians celebrate the holiday. It doesn’t have anything to do with rabbits, hiding and finding Easter eggs, or buying new church clothes. All of those things are incidental- the holiday is all about celebrating our risen Savior.

Jesus, who was born of a virgin and lived 33 years on this earth as the sinless, perfect son of God, was crucified for a crime He didn’t commit. He died on that cross and three days later, he arose and walked the Earth once more.

The verse I’d like to share today is Matthew 28:6. Can you imagine the shock and surprise of Jesus’ loved ones when they went to visit his grave and found His body missing? And can you imagine the joy and awe they felt when they realized He truly had risen?

I’m grateful to serve a risen Savior.

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