Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Rest We Need

By: Melissa Baker

Rest. We all need it, yet it seems like we never do it. We are all so busy, going nonstop that we forget to rest. We have work, church, school, our kids sports, extra curricular activities, etc. All of that can wear us down very easily, especially if we don't learn to balance everything. This world is chaotic enough without us making it more complicated with our schedules and to-do lists. A lady by the name of Alli Worthington once said "We have to start breaking busy before the busy breaks us." Isn't that the truth! If we don't learn how to rest and take a breather, we will never accomplish anything other than being busy. We need to take a break. We need to rest!

There are several different types of rest. Spiritual rest, physical rest and mental rest. Jesus modeled all of these types of rest. YES, even Jesus needed rest! So if Jesus needed rest, don't you think we need to rest too? First, Jesus modeled spiritual rest. He took time to be alone with God. In Mark 1:35, it says "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed." He knew this was extremely important because He needed to hear God's voice. He needed to rest in God's presence. If you make time to pray and rest in God every day, you will be renewed and refreshed.

Jesus also modeled physical rest. He fell asleep on the boat with the disciples in the middle of a storm. Mark 4:38 says " Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him , "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" Even when others were desperately needing his help, Jesus was willing to take a nap and get physical rest. He knew the importance of physical rest. If we don't get the proper rest our bodies need, we are irritable, grouchy and our bodies suffer. We are supposed to take care of the bodies that God has given us.

Lastly, Jesus modeled mental rest. He was not afraid to step away from the crowds. He was willing to go to the other side on a boat, away from everyone who so desperately needed Him. Jesus was clear on what God was calling Him to do, so the needs and desires of others didn't distract Him from the mental rest He needed. Lets remove ourselves from the busyness and chaos and mentally rest.
God doesn't want us to be constantly exhausted and overwhelmed. How can we accomplish all that God is calling us to do if we cannot physically or emotionally function. We cannot function properly unless we have all the required rest our body needs. We need spiritual rest (time with God), we need physical rest (our bodies literally still) and we also need mental rest (time away from the chaos). God wants us to slow down and use our gifts and talents without the worrying or the busyness. We need to fully rest in God. When we do this, our bodies will be energized and our minds will be clear and open to what God wants us to do.  So today, be sure to get all the rest your mind and body is begging you for. Only then will be at your best. And that is what God wants from us, our very best!

"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

Have a great day!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Love That Lasts

By: Jenifer Metzger

I love marriage resources and today I am thrilled to share a brand new resource, Love That Lasts, with you.

Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke have a passion for helping people have a God centered marriage that lasts. And they've written a book together with that exact name. Love That Lasts is a journey through Jeff and Alyssa's life and marriage as they discover God's way for love, dating, marriage and sex. Jeff shares from his own "Prodigal Son" past with an early porn addiction and other struggles and Alyssa shares from her "True Love Waits" experiences having never even held hands until dating Jeff. They openly share their unique backgrounds and their coming together as one.

The Bethke's explore the topics of dating, love, addictions, marriage, sex and more. They teach us to discover God's way for marriage. And they remind us that "We are setting ourselves up for failure if our significant others are everything to us."

Whether you are single, in a dating relationship or married, this book is a resource you will want. Pick up your copy of Love That Lasts today.

*Disclosure: I received this product in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own. Links on this page may be affiliate links. Thank you for supporting this ministry by using the affiliate links.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

God's extended arm...

In Michelangelo's famous painting found on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Creation of Adam, God is depicted with an outstretched arm reaching toward the hand of Adam.  The truth is that God has never stopped reaching out towards mankind with His great love and grace.  So great was the desire of His heart to reach out to us, to pull us out of the pit of sin, despair and bondage from which we could not escape on our own, that He sent His Beloved Only Son to rescue us.  The salvation He gives us is not earned or deserved, it is not a reward for any thing we have done, it is a pure unmerited gift.  It's grace. It's favor.  It's God's great heart ever reaching out, ever inclined, toward His creation, toward you and I.  All we have to do is believe, reach up, and receive His ever extended arm-receive the gracious gift of His great grace and salvation.

You may be thinking, why I did that years ago!  But, sometimes we can forget, or even take for granted, the lavish gift of God's grace, unearned favor, and salvation.  We can live unaware of the amazing truth that God's heart is still lovingly inclined toward us every moment of every day. His eye is continuously, watchfully on us.  His ear is always and eagerly tuned for the sound of our voice.  We have a Father whose arm is always extended toward us, always ready to pick us up when we fall, to lift us up, to help us. All we have to do is believe, reach up, and receive His ever extended arm.  The same arm that reached down to save you, reaches down to help you, to rescue you, to guide you, and to keep you. Every day.  Always and Forever.

still following,

Friday, October 13, 2017

Speaking Truth with Love

by Victoria Duerstock

As women, one of our greatest struggles stems from our tongue.  

Truth be told it's not just a woman's trial, it's all humankind, but we as women tend to have a harder time controlling our tongues. We have power in our mouths to encourage and lift up and yet we don't always yield to that positive power.

Rather James reminds us:

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:8

This challenge can stand in the way of our spiritual growth and our relationships.  Since our tongue can speak encouragement or defeat, why do we so often speak ugliness? James again addresses this -

Sometimes we speak ugliness in the guise of "truth."  Offering constructive criticism under the guise of helpfulness isn't always helpful. Being a critic and offering a critique are two different things.  Giving helpful criticism can be encouraging, especially if we offer solutions to go along with it.  In that instance we become a source of joy versus piling on a discouraging attitude when we offer no help.  Possibly you weren't even asked for your opinion but you offered it anyway.  In this case, I think you'd agree it would be better not to offer your "help."

We also have to be incredibly careful that our critical spirit doesn't become a habit with which we see only negative in this world.  If you are always thinking on negativity, reading negativity, filling your mind with negative thoughts - the ending result will be a negative and critical spirit.  Don't forget the importance of thinking on those things that will develop a positive spirit and deepen our relationship with Christ.

In our homes, we don't always treat each other as kindly as we would strangers or guests and this is so upside down and inside out.

Will you join me this week to walk out the truth of speaking life into our family and friends by the words we say. 

  • By encouraging rather than discouraging our husbands. 
  • By taking notice when our kids are doing something well, or being kind and grasping the opportunity to encourage them with noticing their efforts.  
  • By speaking truth on our Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds.  

If we speak no differently than the world, how can we expect to share with them the life changing Christ who has saved us from so much.  They will have no desire to hear what we have to say because we are not living out our faith in our daily lives.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Deceived by Desire

by Debi Baker

"1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord 
God had made. He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, 'You must
not eat from any tree in the garden'?' 2 The woman said to the serpent, 'We
may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat
fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch
it, or you will die.'' 4 'You will not certainly die,' the serpent said to the woman.
5 'For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you
will be like God, knowing good and evil.' 6 When the woman saw that the fruit
of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for
gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband,
who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and
made coverings for themselves."
Genesis 3:1-7 NIV

As I was reading my devotional today, I was appalled to realize just how often I've been 'deceived by desire.'  The enemy will use the lust of the eyes and/or flesh to deceive us causing us to desire things that are not in God's plan for us!

photo credit
"Living connected to God’s voice means we follow His instructions to acknowledge Him. Give Him glory, thanks, and praise for each moment because He is with you! This holy connection means we desperately place our trust in Him in every circumstance and shut our ears and eyes from all that would deceive our hearts and minds."**

I desperately want to live connected to God in such a way that there's no doubt for Whom I live! I am tired of the enemy conniving and finagling in my life and in the lives of my loved ones! What about you?  It's time to put an end to the enemy dictating how we live our lives.  It's time to put him in his place and elevate God to His proper place...FIRST!!!  I'm asking God to help me be more in tune with HIM so that I cannot be deceived by the desires of my fleshly heart!!

**this is quoted directly from my online devotional at www.bible.com.