Monday, January 15, 2018

Part Time VS Full Time

By: Jenifer Metzger

Go to church on Sunday.
Worship God.
Raise your hands.
Give in offering.

Participate in a Bible study.
Read the required material.
Join in on the discussion.
Share your heart.

What about the rest of the week?

Are you living as a part-time Christian but expecting God to be a full-time God?

How are you living life? Do you live fully for God on Sunday but the rest of the week live how you want? Watch the shows you want, no matter how inappropriate they may be? Listen to the music you want, no matter how offensive the lyrics are? Stick your Bible on the shelf to remain until the next church day? Say words you wouldn't dare say in the walls of the church?

Are you living part time for God?

Now, think of these questions: Do you expect God to be there to answer your cry of distress? To heal you on command when you are sick? To stop bad things from happening?

Do you expect God to be full time?


That's the thing. God is full time. We know from the Word that He will never leave us (Heb. 13:5, Deut. 31:6) and we know that He doesn't sleep (Ps. 121:4). God is always there. He is always right next to you, always listening to you, always guiding you, and always fighting for you.

God cannot be faithless, even when we are faithless (2 Tim. 2:13). He is always faithful to us and when we are faithful to Him, He honors that. It is time to stop living part time and start living full time for Him. It is time to start being fully faithful to Him.






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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Father knows best...


I was nine years old when Daddy left Mama and us kids for another woman.  I remember staring into the darkness out of my bedroom window at night, tears running down my face, asking God to make my daddy come home. I was too young to theologically reason that God doesn't violate a person's free will. All I knew is that I wanted God to answer the cry of my hurting heart.

As I got older my prayers changed. I became old enough to surmise that perhaps it was best for my mama and us kids if Daddy didn't come home.  We were doing well, involved in a good church,  and growing in Christ.  My prayers changed.  I began to pray that my Daddy would get right with God. I assumed that when Daddy left us, he had also left Jesus.  What I didn't realize was that Jesus hadn't let go of Daddy. I prayed for Daddy for years.  I was pregnant with my second daughter when Daddy had to have a triple bypass.  Evidently, that was an incentive to him to make sure things between him and Jesus were okay.  My prayers were answered.

There are simple little prayers that I've prayed that God has answered almost immediately.  There are other prayers about much more significant and life impacting things that I've prayed for years that I've yet to see Him answer.  What I have learned through the years is the truth of this saying, "God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him" (Jim Elliot)  There were times I couldn't see this-when we went through a "Job season" of loss after loss and trial after trial, when our oldest daughter struggled with infertility and loss for over a decade.  But, in hindsight, I now see all of the beneficial things God brought to pass through our Job season. I also thank God daily for the two wonderful granddaughters that God eventually blessed our daughter with, and there is a maturity and strength of character beyond their years that He worked in our daughter and son-in-law in their long waiting years.

Jesus said, " What father among you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!" Luke 11:11-13 The way I see it, getting a stone when you ask for bread would be a cruel disappointment.  Getting a scorpion would be getting something harmful when you expected something good.  Jesus indicated that our Father God doesn't answer our cries with something disappointing or harmful to us.  Psalm 34:10 promises that He will not let us lack any beneficial thing.  When we pray we can trust God with our requests and desires.  His answer will be what is best and what is beneficial for us.  Even His timing will be what is best.  We all would prefer what we want when we want it. But, we must remember and trust that our good, good Father really does know what is best.

still following,
www.justfollowingjesus.com

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Don't Unpack and Live There

By:

Emily Miller

There are times in life that come more often than not that require you to cowgirl up and deal with something.



For us highly sensitive people, this can be an issue.

The very nature of being a highly sensitive person may make it seem like that you can cry at a drop of a hat.

I am here to tell you today that crying is not the bad thing that some people in your life may make it out to be.

It is merely a part of how you, the highly sensitive person, cope with your surroundings.

Yet, there comes a point in time, and trust me to say that I am still learning this and hope to improve on this in 2018, that you have to pick yourself up and move on.

This is where the "cowgirling up" portion comes into play.

I spent too much of 2017 basically unpacking and living in whatever emotional turmoil that I was feeling in whatever circumstances I was facing that week.

That made for a pretty miserable summer of 2017 for a lot of people around me, not to mention myself.

You all have goals, dreams, plans, and "one words" that you are focusing on for 2018.

However, with all these things lined out, you are still going to experience hardships and setbacks through the year.

You absolutely cannot let these setbacks get you down!

Look ahead to all the plans you have for this year. Look ahead to all the things that you see God has ordained for you!

I will leave you with this scripture from Jeremiah that is undoubtedly well-known to you.

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come to pray to me, and I will listen to you!
-Jeremiah 29:11-12

Blessings,

Emily

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Back to the basics...

by Debi Baker


The Lord has been dealing with me on a couple of fronts lately.  The Word of God tells us that Jesus came into this world to "seek and save those who are lost" (Luke 19:10) and that He "came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)  

Have you ever read and heard a verse hundreds of times when suddenly you read and a light bulb pops on?  I can almost see a physical light bulb over my head that miraculously pops on!!!  See, I've read these 2 verses so many times.  I've preached them just as many times as I've read them.  But during the last 4 or 5 months God has been really bringing them to my heart in a newly illuminated way.


It's almost as if He's telling me that I need to go back to the beginning. I feel like He's telling me I've forgotten what it's all about!  A couple of weeks ago, I told my congregation that God had revealed to me that we, as Christians, are SELFISH!  At least, some Christians fall into that category...and sadly, I'm one of them.  Next to the Lord, my husband and my family are the most important things in the world to me.  Yes, I know, that's just like it should be.  Well, I am almost obsessed with my family.  I would rather be with them than almost any other place in this world.  If I have the opportunity to be with them, I'm going to be with them.  There is little in the world that would take me away from an opportunity to be with any one or all of them.  We are a very close family (but there's always room for more closeness, right!  Lol!)  I won't miss an opportunity to be with them.

That being said, I really feel like God is telling me that that's how I need to be with His children!  Oh!  Really!  But God...  I feel like His 'agape' love has somehow escaped me.  If no one else but me needs to hear this, then so be it!  We are to love others...even the unlovable...like He loves us.  We need to have a heart for the lost like He does.  It needs to break our heart to see the lost of this world.  It needs to be a forethought, not an afterthought, to serve others.  We need to love so much that we would be willing to lay our own life down for the lost...just like Jesus did!  

I truly believe that God has brought these 2 scriptures to my heart for a reason.  I feel like He's telling me that I haven't been living up to my full potential as a child of God!  Let me ask you something.  Are you finding yourself in the same boat?  Do you feel that you've been giving 100% of YOU to the work of the Kingdom?  Do you believe that there's room for you to do more?  If you do, then why not join me in going back to the beginning.  Let's really begin to see others through the eyes of God.  Let's really take some time to listen; because when we truly listen to the hearts cry of the lost, we'll have the compassion we're supposed to have.  We'll want to share the Light with them.  We'll want to serve others with the love of Jesus!

Think about these things.  Make up your own mind as to whether or not God is speaking to YOU like He is me.

Have a wonderful day!








Monday, January 8, 2018

Grow Your Marriage in 2018

By: Jenifer Metzger

2018 is upon us, full of new adventures, new possibilities, and new beginnings. Whether you set New Year's Resolutions, goals, or choose a One Word, no matter what you call it, this is a great time to evaluate the previous year and see where you can grow.

There are two areas that we can all grow in. By choosing one, or both, of these areas to focus on for growth, you can never go wrong. One area is getting into the Word more, which we talked about last week. To read more, click here. The other area is our marriage. My One Word for 2017 was marriage. My marriage wasn't in trouble, I just wanted to grow more. I choose six areas of my marriage to focus on. Some I did really good with, others not so much. What I did learn is that it is an on going process. Even had I done incredible in all six areas, I would still have plenty of room for growth.

Today I want to share my six areas of growth with you. Whether marriage is a goal you want to focus on this year or not; whether your marriage is in rough waters or is sailing smoothly; these are areas we can all afford to focus on.


Pray harder over your marriage and for your husband

Are you a praying wife? Pray harder. Is prayer for your husband and marriage something you haven't really done? Start. Intentionally pray daily for your husband and your marriage. I don't mean prayers of "Help him to not be so selfish" or "Make my husband romantic" or "Show him that he needs to help with the kids and house more." No. I mean prayers that God would help him to have a sound mind, prayers for health, prayers over his relationships, prayers that He would desire to be a Godly man, those kind of prayers. I've said it a million times, but it bears repeating: you are the only one who can pray for your husband in this way and you are likely the only one praying over him. Your prayers are vital.

Date your husband more

Date your mate ladies! My grandparents had eight children. Their lives revolved around their children and their work. Once all of their children were grown and out of the house, my grandparents didn't know each other anymore. Their marriage was on the brink of ending. Your children will one day grow up and move out of your home. If you don't date your mate and spend real time with each other truly getting to know each other and grow in your relationship, you will look across at each other and see a stranger. Not sure how often to date? Do what works for you. If you can date weekly, do it! If monthly works better for you, do it! Every six weeks, do it! Whatever it is, just date. A date doesn't have to be a bank-breaking event. Find things to do that are inexpensive or even free. My husband and I love doing things like driving around to garage sales, picking up our favorite restaurant and taking it home to eat while we watch a movie together, or get ice cream and go for a drive around the lake. Whatever it is, just do it.

Intentionally think of him throughout the day and let him know you were thinking of him

Daily activities keep us so busy. We need to intentionally think of our husband throughout the day. When you are at the grocery store, pick up his favorite candy bar. When you wash his clothes, go back to the prayer and pray over him. When you walk past your wedding photo hanging in your hallway, pause and think of the day, then text him and let him know you are thinking of him and you love him. Those little moments of thinking of him throughout the day bring a sweet romance to your heart, which helps later on in the bedroom.

Read marriage books by trusted pastors and authors

There are so many great books out there on marriage. There are also so many books out there that do not hold good, Godly advice. Seek out books to read by pastors and authors you trust. Don't have the time to stop and read? Totally okay! Audio books and podcasts are great! You can listen while you go about your day. I love listening to podcasts while in the car or cleaning the house. Not sure where to get books by trusted pastors and authors? Lifeway has a wonderful collection by people you can trust. Just a few of my favorites are: Power of a Praying WifeLove Dare, Kingdom Marriage, Uncommon Marriage, and The Marriage You've Always Wanted.

Become your husband's biggest cheerleader

The world isn't always nice. Your husband likely deals with negativity at work. Maybe a boss who isn't always kind or co-workers who don't treat each other nice. Maybe you have neighbors who aren't always friendly. Or maybe he has family members who don't treat him right. There are so many chances for negativity to enter your husband's heart and mind throughout the day. This is where you can help. Become his cheerleader. When the world throws him negativity, you praise and encourage him. Tell him that you are proud of him and that you appreciate him. Point out his good qualities and hard work.

Be kinder to your husband

It's easy to take our frustrations out on our husband. When we are upset with something not going right or the kids not listening, it's easy to spew that anger on our husband. He's there. He's an easy target. Let's strive to be kinder. To use kind words and to not take out frustration on him.

What are other ways you can grow in your marriage this year? Share in the comments.



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Forever My Girl is a new movie coming out January 19th telling the story of country music super-star Liam Page who left his bride, Josie, at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. Liam unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, he suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind. Liam and Josie face hardship and learn about forgiveness. But will they find their way back to each other?


Check out the trailer:


Forever My Girl would make a great date night movie! And what better way to start 2018 out than with a date! So, grab your husband and head out on January 19th to see Forever My Girl. While you're out, snap a picture and post on social media using hashtag #forevermygirl and tag Woman to Woman. We'd love to see your date night pictures!