Sharing His Wealth

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We wrapped up our study of Ruth a couple weeks ago, but I’m still thinking about some of the wonderful lessons and examples we discovered. It’s such a beautiful account of service, loyalty, and blessings. In the midst of compassion, there is some heartache. Ruth and Boaz both chose to serve, but the closer relative chose to be selfish. He chose not to redeem Naomi and marry Ruth because it wouldn’t benefit him.

I don’t want to think about the times I have passed up an opportunity to bless someone because it didn’t benefit me. We’re such a selfish people. Just think, if the Father would have felt that way and acted on it, where would we be? He blesses us so we can be a blessing. If we hide the blessings, what good are we doing?

Sometimes the blessing comes from be a blessing.

Don’t miss an opportunity to bless because it doesn’t benefit you. Sometimes our belssing will come after we bless someone. We just have to share His blessings with others. He also changes us so others can see it and we can be a light to them. We aren’t to think only of ourselves anymore once we’ve accepted God’s lordship over our life. We are to care as He does and bless as He does.

What opportunity lies in front of you? If you can be a blessing, do it. The Father loves seeing His children serving others. Don’t miss being a blessing and pleasing our Father just because it may not benefit you.

Father, thank You for all our blessings. You abundantly bless us. Help us to bless others, even when it doesn’t benefit us. May we be a light to others even if it’s hard. Help us to remember how much You’ve blessed us. You don’t give to us so we can hoard and hide the blessings. You bless and love so we can do the same to others. We want to be servants and please You with our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

I Peter 4:10

 

Word-Filled Wednesday

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I love reading through scripture and seeing all the mighty acts of the Father. He has done some amazing acts for our fore fathers. Some of His acts were down right insane to think of how He accomplished them. He used everyday, ordinary people to win wars, set people free, and proclaim His words. He chose to work through the obedient ones, not the strong ones.

In our lives, we don’t have to carry the heavy burden that it’s all up to us when we face daunting situations. We can rest in the truth that God does the work. Most of the time He used some of the craziest (to us) ways to accomplish whatever lay before them. The pressure isn’t on us to figure out what to do, He gives us the instructions to carry out His plan. We can look back at people like Joshua or Moses and see the Father’s mighty hand.

When the battle plan isn’t ours to win, we don’t have to fear.

They were told to do things that probably sounded strange, but when they followed instructions they saw victory. It took the pressure off them and gave them no room to brag on themselves. The Father wants the glory of the victory. He wants no room for pride to build up in us. I believe that’s why He often uses unusual acts to gain the victory. He doesn’t need a huge show to prove Himself, He can do it in ways that do confine the wise.

So the next time you’re feeling fear in the face of a circumstance, cast it aside. It doesn’t depend on you, but on Him and His wisdom. He has the strength and authority to calm the raging seas, so He will calm the waters for you.

Father, You are so full of wisdom and power. There is none like You. Thank You for Your wise plans and counsel. Help us to put our trust in You and not man. You win our battles, not ourselves. May we remember that always. Help us to remain humble and know You are the One who receives honor. We praise You for all Your mighty acts and deeds. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

II Corinthians 4:7

Knowing and Teaching His Ways

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Most parents who are believers in Christ want their children to learn to live as he did. They desire to see their children walk as he did. As parents, that should be our prayer and should be our greatest joy. It’s also our responsibility to teach them the Father’s ways and words. There are two key steps that must take place before we can teach them with the expectation to see fruit.

The first step in teaching our children His ways is to know them ourselves. We have to know His ways to walk in them. If I don’t know how to bake a cake, how can I teach someone else how? I can’t and it’s simple, in order to teach our children all that the Father desires, we have to know His ways. If we don’t know His ways, what will we teach them? Whatever we do teach them apart from His ways will not be a firm foundation.

You cannot teach what you really don’t know.

The second key in teaching our children His ways is to walk in them. Children listen more than you think, but if your actions aren’t matching your words then they’ll discredit them. If we’re not practicing what we preach, they’ll start practicing what they see instead of what they hear. That is on us as parents. We are responsible for teaching them God’s ways by knowing them and walking in them.

If you don’t know His ways, you can learn. If you aren’t walking in His ways, you can start. You’ll give your children a firm foundation by teaching them His ways over man’s ways. What joy you’ll have if you’ll follow the Father’s plan for your family.

Father, forgive us for not knowing Your ways and teaching our children what leads to joy. We desire to be good stewards of the garden before us. Help us to walk in Your ways for our children to see. We desire that they follow You and walk in Your ways. Strengthen us to be the parents You desire. Draw our children to You and give them a desire for Your ways. Empower them to walk in Your ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.

Psalm 25:4

Bone of My Bones, Flesh of My Flesh

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Being married to my best friend has taught me a lot through the years, but nothing so obvious as this: I love him so much that the thought of him not being in my life causes me physical pain. My chest tightens, it’s hard to breathe, and tears start to form if I even think about the possibility of being without him. We are the two that became one, the one whom my soul loves, and we were made by God’s loving hand to need that intimate, never-let-you-go feeling. In the beginning, God took a rib from Adam and from that rib created Eve, and Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.”(Genesis 2:23) 

Have you ever considered the role ribs play in human anatomy? They are for protection, support, and respiration; for the structure and formation of the human body. They are not just important for this reason, but provide insight on a deeper, spiritual level as well. As a wife, I lean on my husband for protection and support (by doing so, I find strength, not weakness…) and just as I said earlier, my very breath depends on him being there with me. Without him, I couldn’t function properly and there would be no life left in me. God had a higher, more divine purpose for using dust and bones to create us. We are to be each others strength and support in times of trouble and give each other the love that makes life easier.

So when stressful situations or tragic circumstances happen that make you question your faith, cling to what is good…to God and your mate. Use each other’s strength to make it through those tough times, keeping your relationship rooted in God’s word and you will find your comfort, because…

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”-I Corinthians 13:7-8


 

Brandi blogs at And She Laughs in her spare time in the midst of being a wife, mother, teacher, chef, and homemaker. You can find her there sharing encouraging words and uplifting posts.

Controlling Our Emotions

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Emotions.

They’re a tricky thing. They can be a blessing and a burden.

Happy. Sad. Mad.

We go through so many different moods daily. It’s easy to make a decision based on our emotion. We can get all worked up over a situation and make a decision that may not be wise. We should be very careful to be wise in decision making.

Whether it’s emotions of happiness, sadness, or anger, we have to set them aside and make the right decision. A lot of times, that’s easier said than done, but it’s possible. We have to seek the Father and ask for His help to control ourselves.

We can’t let our emotions get ahead of our sound judgement.

Our emotions aren’t bad, they’re an indicator of something deep down that has moved us. So we don’t have to shy away from emotions, we just can’t let them control us. We have to be super careful not to let our emotions make decisions for us, but to go to the Father with what we’re feeling and ask for His wisdom to take the next step.

Whether you’re happy, sad, mad, or disappointed, stop and seek how the Father wants you to respond and what decisions to make.

Father, thank You for the emotions You allow us to feel. You’ve felt every emotion that we ever will. Help us to work through the emotions and seek Your wisdom to make the right decision. Help us to not be overtaken with joy, anger, or sadness, but to have a sound mind. We thank You for helping us and guiding us to honor You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness,  godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

II Peter 1:5-7

 

 

Word-Filled Wednesday

 

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Paul was writing to the Colossians about setting their affections on heavenly things. They were obviously distracted by the things of their time. There is so much that tries to catch our eyes and some things aren’t necessarily evil things. It can be things that we value more than our relationship with the Father. Be assured that if you have a relationship with the Father, the Holy Spirit will reveal the issue to you, just seek His face.

I have found the best way to keep my affections set on God is by staying in His Word and praying to Him. His Word does nothing, but point to Him. When we read about Him, it allows us to learn about Him. Communicating with God through Jesus is vital also. He is the mediator between us and our Father. Praying to Him keeps us connected and able to hear His voice. We have to hear His voice in order to follow His ways and be guided in life.

What we learn seeps into our minds and hearts affecting our thoughts.

Surrounding ourselves with people who seek God daily and have a personal relationship with Him will help us in our efforts. Christians are supposed to encourage one another and lift one another up. If you are around those who are seeking to keep the Father their main priority, then it will encourage you to do the same. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” it says in Proverbs 27:17. We are running this race together and should encourage each other to look to the Father.

Our minds and hearts shouldn’t be constantly chasing the things of the world. They are flashy, but they are empty. We can continue to buy new things, but never be satisfied by them. Keeping our eyes on heavenly things will help us realize we aren’t meant to be satisfied on earth apart from what the Father gives. We were made for much more than the world can offer.

Our souls long for something more and that only can be found in the Father. He is the missing piece to our souls. By setting our affections on things above, we can honor God and do what pleases Him.

Lord, help me to look to You and honor You. I am frail and weak. I need You to give me a desire to seek You. May I set my affections, my mind, and my heart on You. You are the only thing that can satisfy my soul. You are what my heart should beat for. Thank You for being wonderful and amazing. Help me to never settle for anything, but You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Perfect Parent

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You cannot be the perfect Mom.

You are not expected to be the perfect Mom.

Your kids want a loving Mom. They want a playful Mom. Believe it or not, your kids want a Mom with rules. They want a Mom who will read to them, laugh with them, and care for them. They also want a Mom who will forgive and understand mistakes.

Don’t let the pressure of being the perfect Mom destroy the chance of being a good Mom. Our children need a real Mom, not some fake Mom who can’t relate to sinfulness or heartache. Real and messy is far better than superficial and shallow.

There is only one perfect parent, the Father Yahweh. We can strive to be like Him and when we fail we can seek forgiveness and His guidance. He longs to help us each step of the way.

Father, thank You for being the perfect parent to us. Help us to let go of mindsets to be perfect. Help us not fall to the pressure to be perfect. We desire to be the Mom You want us to be. Empower us to walk as You desire, to love as You do, and to forgive as we have been forgiven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

I Peter 1:16

His Life Giving Word

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Over the years, our marriage can become dull and lifeless. We go through the motions and trudge along during the days. It’s not necessarily that you want it too and you may not even notice it. I think life just happens and we have to realize that, then act on it. I know for me, I’m busy tending to the kids and trying to keep the house looking (and smelling) decent. Not to mention, home schooling our children, cooking three meals each day, and maintaining a relationship with my man. I just need some reviving, something fresh.

What better way to revive your marriage than with God’s Word?

It’s alive and active.

It’s refreshing and life giving.

It’s marrow to our bones.

I’ve found that getting in His Word with my husband is very refreshing. In most homes that probably doesn’t happen much. Husbands and wives have a lot on their plate, but nothing can revive you like God’s Word. It can breathe life back into a weary marriage. We know that we’re going to become heavy laden and weighed down from time to time. If not, God wouldn’t have said ‘Come to me, my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ We should run to the rock of our salvation and let Him revive us.

It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out study and it doesn’t even have to be a study you have purchased from a store, just open up that Word and discuss the scriptures together. If we don’t get in it, then we’re not going to make it ladies. We have to have the Word in us and in our marriage. In this day and time, we have to fight harder than ever to keep our marriages. There is a lot that is fighting against us and our men. If you don’t think it’s worth investing in, you will overlook it and go on about your life. That will lead to some destructive things.

So let’s take a closer look at our marriages and really seek to bring them back to life through God’s Word.

Lord, thank You for Your Word. It’s alive, well, and active! It can bring back to life what is dead. It is like water to our thirsty souls. It refreshes us when we are dry. Help us to make it a priority to get into Your Word with our husbands. May we desire to walk together in Your ways and be in Your will. Help us to fight for our marriages with Your Word. Equip us to be women who won’t give up or give in. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Prayer: Our Weapon of War

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I’m a talker and if you know me, you will testify. I love to hear about people’s lives, their days, their passions, and their trials. I love to help others when they’re going through difficult seasons. But ya know, sometimes, I don’t have the answers or a plan to help them.

Sometimes, all I can offer are my prayers for them. For some crazy reason, I think that’s not enough. Like talking to the Creator of the universe isn’t good enough. Prayer is a weapon that can move mountains.

I am realizing it’s okay to not have all the answers or that I can’t fix the problem. I can pray for my Father to comfort, heal, and work out what He wills. I can be silent and be still. I can know that He is God. That really is freeing.

It lifts the burden from me to the One who can handle all things.

It’s okay to say I don’t have the words, but I can pray for you. We can pray trusting the Father to do just as He sees best and not us. We will mess it all up because we’re human, but God is perfect in all His ways.

So lift your voice to Him, the One who orchestrates it all.

Father, You are magnificent! You are all knowing. You are good. Help us to never think prayer is a last resort. It’s the most powerful weapon we have. Help us to pray when we feel helpless and when we feel hopeless. May we trust You to do Your will which is always best. We surrender our will to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10

Kindness Without Conditions

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Kindness seems far and few between most days. It’s all about me, myself, and I in today’s culture. Kindness is seen as weakness in society, yet that’s so far from the truth. If we look at Ruth’s example of kindness we can learn a lot. She had nothing to gain by staying with Naomi and going to Bethlehem. She had nothing to gain by working her fingers to the bone to provide for them both. She could have went back to her family and stayed in Moab or even could have married another man and started a new life. Instead she chose to stay and show kindness to her mother-in-law.

She thought nothing of it and wasn’t expecting to be repaid for her kindness. Her willingness to put someone else’s well being above her comfort zone did gain the attention of the Father. For all the diligent work, she was rewarded with more than she ever would have thought. We should never be kind to someone with an expectation for something in return. Our kindness to others should be out of a pure heart, a humble heart. We shouldn’t weigh out if it’s worth it based on what they can do for us and how they can repay us. No, we should show kindness because we have been shown kindness.

We should extend kindness to those around us without conditions.

Whether it’s a stranger or someone familiar. Whether it be a friend or a foe. We can be kind with our actions and our words, both are very effective. We should be kind when we can. We should step out of our comfort zone to be kind if that’s what needs to be done. We may never know the impact we will have on that person’s life when we show kindness. It may take just that one act to give them a reason to not give up.

Our Father is always watching and He rewards the kind and pure in heart. That is what pleases Him. Never turn down an opportunity to be kind to another, no matter how big or small.

Father, thank You for being so kind towards us. You show us the best examples in life through Your actions towards us. Help us to always extend kindness to others, even when we don’t think they deserve it or we don’t think we have time. May we remember how kind others have been to us. Help us to be kind and love without conditions as You do. We desire to become more like You in all areas. Open our eyes to see the opportunities You give us to be kind to those around us. Let us be more aware of the needs of others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


 

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Colossians 3:12