New Years Resolution

New Years Resolution

New Year’s Resolution:

So many times I resort to prayer when I’ve come to the end of my resources. Prayer becomes my attempt to convince God of my agenda. Yet I detest the disturbing thought that prayer resembles a vending machine—saying the right words obligates God to produce what I want. That raises questions: What is prayer? What does prayer accomplish?

As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized God’s agenda for prayer. He’s always loved people and interacted with them from the beginning of time.  In early history, he  didn’t command prayer because he was already communicating with individuals. Remember “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24) Imagine chatting with God so often, that one day you end up walking all the way to heaven during a long conversation Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

The prophet Jeremiah recorded one of the first commands to pray. He wrote to Judah, warning of God’s impending judgment on the nation. God called him as a prophet about 627 BC. God told Jeremiah to record this: “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3) From these words, we learn God longs to reveal things to us, things that will change how we live and help us to understand God’s mind.

Linda Evans Shepherd just completed a book called Called to Pray. She helps us understand God’s agenda for prayer, and she encourages us to make consistent prayer part of our New Year’s resolution. Listen and learn.

Learn more about Linda here.

Find the book here.

Author and Speaker

Linda Evans Shepherd

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Consider Mary, Jesus’s Mother

Consider Mary, Jesus’s Mother

Consider Mary, Jesus’s Mother:

Today I want you to put yourself in the shoes of Mary. Imagine with me. Picture the angel arriving. In many places in Scripture, people displayed symptoms of shock when an angel appeared, so it’s pretty incredible to see the supernatural. The angel started off by saying Mary was highly favored and said that she will be the mother of the promised Messiah. Wow! Imagine how that felt.

Think of all the frustration she faced when she informed her mother and father she was  with child. Maybe they guessed when she got back from Cousin Elizabeth’s house. Either way it wasn’t fun. Imagine her concern about  Joseph hearing the news and not understanding. Can you picture relatives rolling their eyes and saying they’d never heard that excuse.

Think about how she felt while riding to Bethlehem on a donkey when she was about the give birth. Nothing feels comfortable when you’re nine months pregnant.

Imagine how she felt giving birth in a stable and wrapping the child in whatever cloth she had and placing him in a manger. Remember that a manger was a feeding trough for animals. Not pretty and clean. Ugh!

 

Today I have Christy Fay with me, she wrote Reclaimed: uncovering your worth. It’s a Bible study about five women in the genealogy of Jesus.

What kinds of things had the Lord done to prepare her for this time?

How did he use these events in her life?

How does this impact our lives?

Learn more about Christy Fay and her ministry here.

Author and Speaker

Christy Fay

Having Holiday Blues?

Having Holiday Blues?

Having  Holiday Blues?

Walking through the neighborhood during December offers a feast for the eyes.  Lights twinkle everywhere, nativity sets grace the outdoors, lights sit in windows. Plus this year some people have an entire plastic garden of toys, complete with trains, Santas and moving figures. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even guilty because you don’t put out the energy that your neighbors expended.

I’m sure you all recall the story of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. They were close friends of Jesus and he often stayed in their home.  On one occasion Mary worked hard to prepare a meal for the master. She became annoyed  that her sister wasn’t helping, and she requested Jesus to get her sister involved. His reply probably stunned her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Some of us feel like Mary during the holiday season when we’re supposed to be celebrating the Savior’s birth. Our lives become a mad dash, and we often forget why we’re supposed to be joyful. It’s so easy to be tense and irritable during this season of rejoicing.

Author and speaker, Jennifer Slattery is my guest this week. She had learned to live with  chronic illness. and she’s going to give us some great ideas on remaining calm and focused.

Learn more about Jennifer here.

 

Use Christmas to Teach Your Children

Use Christmas to Teach Your Children

Use Christmas to Teach Your Children

There’s nothing as precious as holding your new baby in your arms, but each time I gave birth, I also felt the enormity of the task before me.  We want our children to have a good life, and good parenting lays the foundation for that. They need to be loved and they need to be taught. In fact, I believe loving them means teaching them. I also believe every parent should teach their children rather than leaving it up to the church. The job it too important to pass off.

Christmastime, however, can be a huge distraction. I love the pretty lights that blink at us from everywhere. Santa and his elves appear everywhere, and you’ll see nutcrackers dressed up with ribbons in store windows. Getting up the decorations and hanging the stockings are all such fun. But none of the glitter our culture spreads about addresses our biggest task, teaching our children. A world broken by sin would have no hope. All the tinsel we could throw up in our homes would just hide the reality of our doom. Jesus came to redeem us, and if we embrace that, all the celebration is worth it. Because Jesus set us free, we need to sing about our joy at the top of our lungs. Psalms says “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!”

There are, however, things to consider when we discuss doctrine with our offspring. If you think about the Old Testament, there are places that it’s x rated because God shows people as they are. You also need to consider varying maturity levels. A parent shouldn’t give a child more than they can digest emotionally. Pastor and author Marty Machowski offers suggestions on how to teach at Christmas and all year as well.

Learn more about Mr. Machowski here and learn more about his writing here.

 

Holidays: Loving Difficult Relatives

Holidays: Loving Difficult Relatives

Holidays: Loving Difficult Relatives –

The holidays are approaching fast, and it’s such a busy time. Many of us will see relatives we love and a few relatives we don’t like. For some of us,  Thanksgiving and Christmas bring stress as we consider interacting with  that difficult person. Today we’re here to offer some thoughts to make those times easier.

I remember what Paul said in Romans. He advised us strongly to make our bodies a living sacrifice. I don’t know if you’ve noticed the change in language these days. But you’ll hear people talk about freedom of worship rather than freedom of religion. I think that’s deliberate. People who don’t understand our faith assume everything happens inside a church, but it doesn’t. A living sacrifice doesn’t crawl off the altar. In fact, that phrase is an oxymoron. That’s like saying that’s a hot ice cube. The word sacrifice entailed death.  In our case, however, we are to live all the time through Christ as if the old nature is dead.  That’s or service of worship. In that same passage in Romans Paul says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Hebrews 12:14)  What a huge assignment, especially with the history we bring to our families.

Today we have Counselor Judy Herman to share ideas about demonstrating God’s love to those hardest to enjoy.

Learn more about Judy here.

Learn more about the topic here

 

 

ReAnn Ring interviewed Katie Luther: Halloween Message

ReAnn Ring interviewed Katie Luther: Halloween Message

Katherine von Bora

“Katie”Katie Luther:

ReAnn Ring interviewed Katie Luther: Halloween Message – ReAnn Ring filled in for Cynthia this week for a special interview

Media personality

ReAnn Ring

Katie Luther or Katherine von Bora ‘arrived’ to celebrate the upcoming festivities for Halloween, also called Reformation Day. She married the former monk, Martin Luther.  In preparation for All Saints Day, which fell on November 1, he chose to open debate with scholars on several points of theology. He nailed the famous ninety-five thesis to the door of the castle church on October 31st, which sparked a response across Europe. The negative reaction from Catholic theologians horrified him. At the Diet of Worms, Charles V condemned him as an outlaw. Once excommunicated, he founded the Lutheran church. In contrast to the Catholics, Luther’s preaching focused on salvation by faith and reliance on the authority of Scripture. And he translated the Bible into the language of the people.

Katie’s Halloween message gave details of her life in the 1500s, which may surprise some. A former nun, she shared the story of her life with the great reformer and left a message for us in these difficult times.

Cynthia and her family visited Germany in 2005 and discovered the entire nation took a holiday for October 31st.  She toured the Luther home, the castle church, the state church, and other historical sites in Wittenberg, Germany. As a result Katherine von Bora became one of Cynthia’s favorite historical women. In order to teach more about Katie, Cynthia now does impersonations for women’s ministry groups and homeschool groups.

If you’d like to know more about the life of the woman behind Luther, you can learn more here.

 

You can learn more about her husband here.

Thanks, ReAnn.

Wife of Martin Luther

Katherine von Bora

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