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Tag Archives: Bible

While He May be Found?

So it was nearing bedtime. I gathered the children together hoping to sit them all down and read scriptures to them. In my heart I envisioned them all huddled up together, listening intently to every precious word. But it didn’t go down like that. Not at all.

Our oldest stayed focused, but the others starting quickly drifting, minds far off from me and the words I was reading. They weren’t interested. They were getting rowdy, having a blast with each other, with no regard to me or what was being read.

Put simply, they weren’t interested. No movie? No cool music? No funny YOUTube video? No silly dance or dramatic reading? Did I really think my calm voice alone could hold their attention? I had hoped. But it didn’t.

These little ones that can sit glued to a tv for an hour couldn’t hold their focus for 26 scriptures… 26 single sentences. I ended up calling it quits on the whole thing. Turned the lights off and sent them to bed. And they were upset and begging, “We want to hear! We want to hear!” But the time to hear had passed. It was lights out, and hopefully we could try again tomorrow… Hopefully.

And my mind is now drifting back to that 19th verse we read: “S: Seek ye The Lord while he may be found.”

It has always been a verse that kind of shakes me up… After all what does that mean, “while he may be found”? Isn’t God always with us? Can’t we always seek him? Well, yes… And no.

Because here is thing, if you truly believe the Bible is true, there is this one concept that you can’t quite shake (no matter how much you want to) and it is this: One day you will die and you will either be eternally with God or eternally separated from him. That’s it. It’s all said and done. The time to seek God passed. And that time to seek God is now.

And yeah, there are so many more “exciting” things to do isn’t there? Cool movies and funny YOUTube videos to watch. Your favorite football team to cheer on. Friends and family to fill that space with no problem at all. It’s all great really… Until it’s light out and then I fear, for many it will be “I want to hear! I want to hear!”

“Seek ye The Lord while he may be found.”

Yes, seek him now.

Because His gentle voice will not be around forever, for those who choose to not seek it now.

 

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You are Beautiful

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So there is a new post trend starting that I wanted to reflect on a little bit. The trend? “Post 5 pictures that make you feel beautiful.” You post, you tag 5 people and they need to do the same.

And so my news feed is slowly filling up with “beautiful” pictures of my friends and family. And I don’t say that sarcastically. Truly, each and every one is beautiful… But here is the thing… I look at all those pictures and immediately some other pictures come to mind:

Pictures of Jesus.

For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son so that whosoever believed in him shall not perish but have everlasting life…
– John 3:16

So loved…

So treasured…

So considered each and every person worthy and truly marvelous.

Oh, that we would truly believe:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
– Psalm 139:13-14

And I wonder as I scroll through my news feed, seeing selfie after selfie…

Do we really know it?

Do we really know we are beautiful?

Or are we sitting and wait for comments? For validation? For someone to say, “Yes, you are beautiful!”

If you are…

Can I tell you something?

Somebody already said that.

We don’t need to hang our beauty on the words or lack of words in the comments of our “selfies.” We can hang our beauty on the One True Word.

May we remember that the fullness of our beauty isn’t found in our face, but in His.

And when we get tempted to base our beauty by our positions and our accomplishments,

We may remember:

We greatly underestimate our beauty if we base our beauty on our position and accomplishments.

For the fullness of our beauty isn’t found in our position here, but the fact that the Word of God tells us that through Christ we are seated there, in heavenly places with the very maker of the heavens.

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
– Ephesians 2:4-7

We can know we are beautiful, so SO beautiful, not because of what we do or have done, but because of what HE did.

And here is thing about knowing how precious and beautiful you are to God.

When you know, truly know, just how beautiful you are to God, it opens your eyes to the outrageous and overwhelming truth that every single person you see is beautiful to God.

Every single person was and is worth reaching out for, drawing a line in the sand for…

Worth sitting with and laughing with, listening to and talking with…

Living for, dying for…

They were are all worth it.

And I pray you know that reader and friend.

I pray you know that YOU were worth it.

YOU ARE beautiful.

Not just five times over, but infinitely over.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL in the eyes of our most beautiful God.

Your beauty is found in HIS beauty and your worth is found in HIS.

Colossians 3:2-4
New Living Translation (NLT)

Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

 

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Created to Care

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This? This is a broken piece of concrete that I found back behind over grown bushes and ground cover today. I’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s start with this:

Woke up to the sound of my mama singing, “It’s Saturday! It’s Saturday! I get to play! I get to play!” (She usually works on Saturdays). Her song just put a smile on my face.

So mama spent the day playing and fishing and watching our little ones while I got to some serious yard work.

I really, really enjoy working in the yard and garden. God is felt and heard so strongly when you work a garden. And it only makes sense that he is.

In the Bible it all started with a man and a woman in a garden. They were told to multiply, to tend the ground, to have dominion over the animals… And we know that wasn’t intended to be an oppressive dominion but a loving care for the animals. Man was even given the responsibility to name the animals. Man and woman walked and talked with God in the garden.

I thought about these things as I clipped away vines and cleared out areas overtaken by nature. Little by little I was uncovering and shaking the dead leaves out of bushes that had been overtaken by those vines. Slowly I was getting to see the plant for the beautiful thing it was. And it dawned on me.

We were created to care. We were created to multiply. We were created to grow our families, to take in and care for others often weaker than us. We were created to care for nature and animals. Created to pull weeds and comb out fleas. Name animals. Why?

Because there is something about caring for something else that ties our heart to our caring Creator. (Ever name an animal?… It makes you care. I hesitate to name fish anymore…)

Anyhow, the point is this: God cares. He pulls away those sins that try to overtake you. He reveals you for the beautiful creation he sees. When we care, we reflect our Creator who cares. And who is that Creator? What is his name? Where is he found?

As I turned over that piece of concrete, my heart was so incredibly reassured. That this God of mine, he is found in the brokenness. He was found on a cross, a cross that I deserved. His word was and is and will always be solid as a rock. And his name? His name is Jesus.

I am so thankful for today. For my mama playing and caring for our kids. For my husband who continues to faithfully work and provide and serve. (He was gone today working. I miss him when he has to work but for his work and his faithfulness in caring for me and our kids, I am thankful.) And above all I am thankful today for Jesus and the way he gently shows that he is still walking and talking with us.

All around you are things that need care.

Care.

You will find as you do, God opens your eyes to how much he cares for you.

 

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Something to think About

The kids and I were reading Matthew Chapter 1 yesterday morning. It is the account of the lineage of Jesus Christ. Like many other sections in the Bible, at first glance it may seem completely irrelevant and ridicously redundant. (Yes, I just said there are sections of the Bible that seem completely irrelevant and ridicously redundant.)

In the past, I used to skip those sections. Over time, I began to place faith in the fact that God had to have had some reason for including those sections. There must be some significance- some lesson to be learned.

Yesterday, after re-reading the ever-so-long genealogy of Christ- this is what I learned: Seemingly insignificant choices can make a majorly significant impact.

As I read Christ’s lineage one name stuck out: Ruth. Ruth was a woman who chose to stay with her mother-in-law after her husband died. She made a commitment to follow her wherever she went. That choice eventually led her into the arms of a new husband- and essentially straight into the line of the lineage of Christ. Ruth’s seemingly insignificant choice to stay with her mother-in-law shaped history- ushered in kings like David and Solomon- and eventually ushered in the King of Kings- Jesus Christ.

Oh, to get our minds wrapped around this… To see the significance and impact of our choices… To behold the wonder and marvel that in every moment we have the opportunity to usher in Christ.

Seemingly insignificant choices can make a majorly significant impact.

Something to think about.

 

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Great is His Faithfulness

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Looking at our baby boy this morning,
Still standing at our front door,

Watching,

Waiting,

For a glimpse of his daddy who left many minutes before.

I look at him and I am reminded of God’s faithfulness to us.

When we walk away,

He is still watching.

When we are far off on our own agendas,

He is still standing,
Waiting for us to come home.

When we are faithless,

He is still faithful.

Great is his faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

 

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Fully Awake

A few nights ago I woke up from a deep sleep to the sound of our baby crying in his crib. I immediately jumped to my feet to go attend to him. Problem was, my foot that hit the floor, and my entire leg, had not woke up with the rest of me. My leg gave and I ended up hitting, all too quickly, the floor below. (Not exactly where I envisioned myself heading to say the least.)

As I went to get up, I felt as if The Lord had just taught me, in a not-so-gentle way the importance of being fully awake to Him.

We can have “good” intentions. We can hear or see a need and jump up thinking we are going to help- but if we step out, not fully awake to Him, His will and the steps He is leading us to take- or perhaps not take- we stumble. It is possible to step out doing “good” and still stumble.

All these thoughts came back to me tonight when I came across this scripture in a devotional with our kids:

Romans 13:11
“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.”

God desires for us to “wake from sleep.” To be fully awake to His love, to His will, to His ways as revealed in His Word. He desires for us to wait on Him. To follow Him. To know the sound of His voice. We can know the sound of his voice.

May we awake to it.
May we be fully awake.

Because one day we will all take our final step. So I pray, for each and everyone of us, that our final step is a step straight through heaven’s gate.

May none of us wake up to find we are nowhere near where we envisioned ourselves to be.

May our hearts be fully awake to Him. May we be fully awake to His love and His leading. May we be fully awake to His willingness and desire to take every step with us.

 

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Little by Little, Let it Grow

Do you have a dream?
Perhaps just a hope for something?

The Bible has something to say about that:

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.”
– Proverbs 13:12 NLT

It’s the waiting, the doubting, and the putting it off, that slowly kills the hope.

If you know your dream is a God-placed dream, start it- even if it is little by little.

It may feel like a “great big” dream and you may know that is going to take a long time to be fulfilled, but consider this:

The largest tree you can think of also grew little by little.

So don’t let the naysayers chop down your dream.

Let it grow.

 

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Peace is Internal {A Special Veteran’s Day Devotion}

Early this morning, I looked out our kitchen window and was blessed by the sight of a small duck, gently making its way across the fog covered lake behind our home.

Next to me, sitting in his high chair, was our super wiggly and incredibly loud, nine month-old, jibber-jabbering and growling away, intentionally knocking his cup and Cheerios to the floor. His little feet frog-kicking in his chair. He has become quite the little mover and adventurer.

And in that moment the paradox of the view of that still, quiet lake next to our loud, wiggly baby, reminded me of a certain account of Jesus and his disciples in the book of Mark. Perhaps you are familiar with it. It is that famous passage of when Jesus calms the storm:

“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘ Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’ And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!'” (Mark 4: 35-41)

As a mom, I have for some time now GREATLY connected “peace” with those two words “Be still!”

When our kids are up and moving and in full force, peace becomes relative and internal VERY quickly. I have to remind myself that PEACE IS NOT EXTERNAL. PEACE IS INTERNAL.

It is possible to have a still child, a quiet room, and absolutely no peace. Ask a parent in a hospital room.

Peace must be a stillness of the heart. It has to be a slow, gentle, quiet movement of God, where his word glides over a person’s soul and all that can be seen is HIS movement like ripples and mist moving across a lake.

And as today is Veteran’s Day it seems appropriate to consider that this internal peace was also fought for, bled for, died for.

So when the storms rage in your heart. When fear tries to sink your ship. When the sounds around you attempt to steal your peace. Remember His words, “Peace. Be Still!” Have faith and remember this battle was already won.

(A special thank you today to all the men and women who have served, fought, bled and died for peace in our country. A special thank you to Jesus Christ who served, fought, bled and died for peace in our hearts.)

– Charity

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

 

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Patterns and Place Value- Not Just Math Concepts

I really enjoy math.

I like that it is definite.

I like that it is infinite.

I like how it is incredibly simple and yet extraordinarily complex.

All of these things remind me of God.

Today I taught our son the strategy of recognizing a pattern in order to count by twos.

Recognizing patterns is so beneficial in math. It also is pretty exciting (Yes, I just called math exciting).

Once you clearly see the pattern, it is easy to just keep going with it.

So we wrote the counting by twos pattern and we cut out numbers that could be switched out as we bumped up into the next number family. Our little guy was counting by twos with ease.

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And then we did place value.

Place value can be tricky for little ones because so often they don’t understand exactly how the placement of a number greatly changes its value. They don’t get that a “7” in the tens place is equivalent to 70 as opposed to only 7 and so on.

One exercise that seems to help our kids is this: I read out loud a three-digit number, like 110.

I then draw out three boxes in a row. Above each box I write what number we are “counting by” when a number is written in that box.

Hundreds place- we count by hundreds- so I write “100”

Tens place- we count by tens- so I write “10”

Ones place we count by ones- so I write “1”

(Writing “100,” “10,” and “1,” as opposed to the words “hundreds,” “tens,” and “ones” seems to make the concept far less intimidating for young children.)

Once again I say out loud the number, this time adding emphasis: “one HUNDRED and TEN.”

“How many hundreds are there?” ONE HUNDRED
“How many tens?” ONE TEN
“Did you hear any other numbers? No. There are no other numbers. Write a zero in the ones place.”

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We go through the exercise a few times and the child begins to understand how the placement of a number greatly effects its value.

Patterns… Place value…

These are Biblical concepts as well.

The Old Testament was laid as the pattern for the New, but I was never able to see that until I really started to study the works of Christ. Once I caught glimpses of the pattern between the two reading the Bible became more exciting to me.

It became even more exciting when I began to understand that our value can only be truly understood once we realize our place in Christ.

That will put a smile on your face for sure… A smile like a child who finally understands patterns and place value.

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Growing the Fruit

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My mother passed this down to me some time ago. It is a stitching of the fruits of the Spirit as described in the Bible.

I hung it up because I wanted to remind myself of the fruit God desires to grow in me.

Truth be told, I don’t have a full crop of any of these yet. But they are growing. And often the conditions I hate the most, are the very conditions that produce the greatest growth.

That is what I wanted to share tonight for any of my friends that may be going through some unfavorable conditions. Consider, if only for a moment, that those conditions that seem so unfavorable, are actually the perfect conditions for the favor of God:

In the midst of hate,
He plows our heart for love.

In the midst of deep sorrow,
He leads us to dig for deeper joy.

In the midst of the chaos,
Our peace in him grows.

Through unanswered prayers,
Our patience blooms.

He leads us along the trellis of kindness, and calls us to rise up above nasty attitudes and lower ground.

In the midst of evil,
He draws our attention to goodness sprouting from the dirt.

Doubts that fall like raindrops,
He uses to feed faithfulness.

He takes those frequent treatments of harshness and plows a field for a great crop of gentleness.

And in the midst of a hundred distractions and temptations, he cultivates a hardy crop of self-control.

– Much love,

Charity

 

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