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Praise

Bible, Communication, Emotions, Encouragement, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Love, New Year's Resolution, Perseverance, Praise, Prayer, Trust, Walking by Faith, Worry

New Years Resolution

January 2, 2016
Prayer

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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Bible, Christmas holiday, Church, Commitment to Christ, Emotions, Encouragement, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Leaving a legacy, Living through heartache, Love, Praise, Prayer, Trust, Truth, Walking by Faith

Consider Mary, Jesus’s Mother

December 25, 2015

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

Bible, Boundaries, Christmas holiday, Church, Communication, Educating your children, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Family Dinner, Guilt, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Laugh, Leaving a legacy, Love, Parenting, Praise, Prayer, Rest, Trust, Truth, Walking by Faith

Having Holiday Blues?

December 11, 2015
Dressed up Kitty

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.

 

Bible, Christmas holiday, Commitment to Christ, Communication, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Love, Marriage, Parenting, Praise, Walking by Faith

Holiday Laughter

November 28, 2015
Writer and Speaker

Holiday Laughter with Jane Rubietta

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

We think of medicine as the cure for our hurts, a way to get well, something we don’t need until illness overtakes us. However, let’s examine the other half of the verse. If we live with a crushed spirit, we’ll soon need some tonic.

We’ve come to the holiday season, which runs from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. It’s a month when we feel obligated to celebrate until we reach exhaustion. Sometimes we find it difficult to get in the spirit of the season, especially if we’ve suffered losses during the past few months. The year my father died, I didn’t want to think about parties. In such cases, that’s appropriate. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”(Eccl 3:1)

However, often we look toward this season and all its demands with trepidation. This year I’ve heard a few people say they’d like to skip Christmas. Looking at the world will bring anxiety, especially lately. Despite the freedoms the Constitution offers, voices around us say not to express our opinions or discuss our faith. Almost every day we hear of another terrorist attack or shooting. Our world is hostile to Christians. I was in Gatwick airport the day of the Paris attacks and witnessed a SWAT team hurry past. A bomb threat and an armed man brought security in force. How fun is that?

Despite all that,  I want to encourage you to cling to hope. A special family friend and mentor passed away recently. Prior to his death, I asked him how he handling his decling health. He told me he watched his thoughts. That answer is both simple and profound. Our emotions follow our thoughts. Let’s consider Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” That same friend, who is now in heaven, told me we can have confidence because we’ve read the last chapter. I love that. Yes! We have hope.

This week I interviewed Jane Rubietta and we discussed ways to keep joy in the holiday and ways we can laugh through the entire Christmas season. Listen and enjoy.

If you’d like to connect with Jane, click here.

 

 

 

Bible, Boundaries, Christmas, Christmas holiday, Communication, Emotions, Encouragement, Freedom, Guilt, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Love, Perseverance, Praise, Prayer, Respect, Surrender to Christ, Truth, Walking by Faith, Worry

Holidays: Loving Difficult Relatives

November 6, 2015
Judy practices in Tennessee

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

 

 

Bible, Boundaries, Church, Commitment to Christ, Communication, Emotions, Encouragement, Fellowship with believers, Finding Meaning, Heart of the Matter, Ministry using your gift, Praise, Responsiblity, Walking by Faith

Praise for Pastors

October 23, 2015

Praise for Pastors

Have you ever considered ministering to your pastor? That thought might catch some of you by surprise. Often times we think of the pastor as the one who ministers, not the other way around. In America, we tend to have a consumer mentality as we approach church shopping, and look for the elements we need for our family. Maybe we seek out a good youth program or a Sunday school that engages our preschoolers. Still others might scour local churches for a minister who keeps them spell bound when he steps into the pulpit. None of these are bad, but that’s not the whole picture.

God makes it clear in Scripture that we should look out for the needs of others, and he enables us to do that. When someone places his faith in Jesus, God bestows a gift on him to use in the body of Christ. Note what the apostle Peter commanded in his first epistle, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” In fact, every believer has a vital spot in the church body, including the pastor and his wife.

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. That may seem like another event the media imposes on us. However, read I Timothy 5:17, ” Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” In light of that, Nan Jones and Patti Harris give us tips on what life is like for a pastor’s wife. Listen and learn how to reach out to your pastor and his family.

Learn more about Nan Jones here.

Nan Jones

Nan Jones

 

Patti Harris

Patti Harris

Bible, Cancer, Commitment to Christ, Communication, Crying out to God, Death, Emotions, Encouragement, Family, Finding Meaning, Freedom, Grief, Heart of the Matter, Hope, Living through heartache, Love, Perseverance, Praise, Trust, Truth, Walking by Faith

Fiery Trials

October 16, 2015
Speaker, Bible teacher

Fiery Trials

Once I heard someone describe the song Amazing Grace as a white spiritual. After getting over my shock, I realized this man thought the song was written to express our disappointment over life’s hardships. Clearly he didn’t grasp redemption, but all of us realize things aren’t right. Let’s face it, our world is broken. God didn’t design us to live in a damaged world.

Romans chapter eight talks about this.  My husband calls this passage groaning 101. Verse twenty-two and twenty-three say, “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”

Sometimes those groans blaze into a raging fire.  What then?

Today I have Carol McLeod. Her ministry is all about suffering.  Her latest book is Refined.

Learn more about Carol here.

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