Read ~ A 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

The Write 31 Day challenge is officially half way complete.  That means that October is half over and Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.  Today, my Five Minute Free Write Prompt is:

And…timer set…GO!

When I consider the word READ my mind immediately goes to books.  I love them.  My favorite genre is christian historical fiction.  I have a few favorite authors like Laura Frantz, Liz Curtis Higgs, Jocelyn Green, and Francine Rivers – to name a few.  And then there is the Bible.  I found an article online that said the Bible is the most published and most READ book in the world.  That seems very believable to me.  As a matter of fact, my college English professor shared that tidbit with my class 2? years ago.

So, as I think about the Bible being the most READ book, I was reminded of a quote that went something like this:

You are the only Bible that some people will ever READ.

Variations of this quote are attributed to several people.  Instead of listing them all, I will just say that they are not my words and I take no credit for them.  Of course, there was a time in my life when I thought my 5th grade missions group leader coined the phrase because she said those words to the group of rambunctious girls that I was a part of at age 10. {smile}

Anyway, I digress.  Let’s think about the quote for a moment.  As I do, I feel a tremendous weight to “…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,…” (Ephesians 4:1).  What does that mean?  To live a righteous life exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit, showing kindness to others, loving others, hating sin but showing compassion to the sinner…you get the idea.

Here’s where the definition comes in:

to look at carefully so as to understand the meaning of (something written, printed, etc.)

Now I know it says “something written or printed” but  ignoring that,  looking carefully to understand is exactly what happens when we have other people watching us to see how a follower of Christ will act and react.    They READ our body language.  They READ our facial expressions.  They READ into our actions and even our words.

And… STOP!

Just a little more…It’s a big responsibility to represent our Lord and Savior. And it’s not always easy to show the grace and mercy to others as Jesus did. But it is so worth it.  And as the holiday season approaches, it’s so important – think Black Friday Shopping!!!  :0)

Since I have once again exceeded my 5 minutes, I’ll close.

Until tomorrow…Joy to You!

 

For a complete listing of all the posts in this 31 day series, click HERE to go to my landing page.

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Community ~ It’s What Its All About

I’ve been sharing in this little corner of the internet since October of 2011.  I started this blog for me.  Seems kind of selfish, doesn’t it?  My intentions were not selfish.  I wanted a place to journal our homeschool and ministry journey.  I didn’t really expect people to read it.  I mean, I’m not a professional.  I just love to put my thoughts down.

When I first started, I mainly wrote about our homeschooling.  I remember hearing about “linking up” to a post somewhere else in the internet where others could see my link, go to my blog, and read about us.  I thought it was pretty cool.  And so, I “linked up.”

Over the next few years, I blogged about homeschooling and begin to share about our family, ministry, and the things that the Lord lays on my heart to share.  And then, in 2014, I signed up to be a part of the Write 31 Days challenge.  Through that challenge, for 3 years now, I became part of a beautiful thing.

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So what is community?

A society of people, having….common interests…

This is part of the official definition, and it is correct, but there is so much more to it!  In my opinion.

For me, community is one of the reasons God created it.  A better word for it might be fellowship.  We were created to be together.  To live life together.  To love and support one another.  To laugh and cry together.  To hold each other accountable.

You get the idea.

Being in the Write 31 Day community has been such a sweet time for me.  We even have a Facebook “community” for those of us who participate in the 31 day challenge.  We share stuff.  We pray for each other.  We are cheerleaders for each other – in the good and the bad.

Right now, I’d like to cheer on one of my fellow 31 Day community friends.    This is my friend Susan.

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Susan is a writer with a passion for HOPE.  She has a new 40 day devotional for the Lent Season.

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While I have not had the pleasure yet to go through all 40 days of Susan’s Lent devotional, I have had the privilege of reading an excerpt and it is just beautiful and thought provoking.   If you are looking for insight into “the people, places and events of the Passion,” I encourage you to grab hold of Susan’s book and come to know more about our Lord and Savior and the journey He walked to the cross.  You can purchase the book through Amazon HERE.

Before I go, I’d love to share a little more about Susan with you….

Susan is Mom to three adult children, Mimzy to two fantastic grands, and Other Mom to several others!  Today, she enjoys blogging, writing short devotions and short stories from her home in the Appalachian Mountain Range of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwestern North Carolina, which she shares with her husband of thirty-plus years, Lowell, and their beloved dog, Sam.  

She can be found musing several times a week at hopehearthome.com

Her life purpose: “That I may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” ~ Colossians 1:10

Her life vision: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in Truth.” ~ 3 John 4

So this thing called “community”  is something special to me.  The Write 31 Days community is not the only one I am a part of.  I live in community every day with those in my hometown…those in my church…those that I know through homeschooling….ETC.  The Lord created us to fellowship and do life together.  I pray that you are as blessed as I am with beautiful community.  With them you have something special!

Until next time…

Joy to You!

 

He’s In Our Midst

My 31 Days of Encouragement from the Lord series is over.  And I’ve had a little break.  I’m ready to see what the Lord would have me share here in my little corner of the internet.  A few years back, I did what I affectionately called “Monday Meditations”.  These were lessons I learned during the sermon on Sunday, verses the Lord had brought me to during my quiet time, or simply things I had on my heart.  I’m giving them a go again.  I’d love to hear what the Lord has taught you on Sunday or the previous week.

Mon_meditations_revdI’ve been working my way through Psalms for some time now.  My process is to read the passage, list attributes of God that are mentioned, write down verses that stand out, and then I pray those verses back to the Lord.  One morning last week, I was in Psalm 74.  The Psalmist is asking the Lord to remember His people and then he describes destruction of God’s sanctuary.  He speaks of the people of God being treated badly.  He pleads for God to destroy the enemy that is reeking havoc on the temple.  Then in verse 12, he says:

Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.

I had to read that one again.  I’m burdened by so much that goes on in our world today.  I don’t want to list events or details but the bottom line is that there is much to be concerned about.  And I certainly don’t want to go down the political road, but our nation needs prayer right now for the election tomorrow.  Psalm 74:12 gave me comfort.  A reminder that He is still on His throne…in control.  He calls us to Him.  We just have to answer.  He compels us to pray.  We just have to obey.

A few weeks ago, one of the high schools in our town held a “Fields of Faith” event.  It was sponsored by the school’s FCA group.  They held it on a Wednesday night and invited all churches to bring their youth there for service that night.  There were over 250 kids, and a handful of adults, on the field that night.  I listened to high school students lead worship and share their testimony about who God is in their life.  It was very encouraging.  I felt the presence of the Lord on the field that night.  I left there wondering what would happen if these kids really stood up for their faith.  What difference would it make in our city, county, state?

Later that day, I saw a video come across Facebook.  I love the song “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman.  This video is Matt and his band playing in Times Square.  I was brought to tears watching thousands of people worship the Lord.  I can only imagine that the presence of the Lord was felt right there, in the middle of Times Square.

As I’ve thought about both scenes for a few days, I’ve considered that I don’t give enough consideration to Him being in my midst all the time.  Not just in the walls of the church.  Not just at a concert.  Not just on a football field when teenagers are praising the Lord.  And not even in Times Square.  He’s with me all the time.  I want everything in my life to be based on being in the presence of the Lord.

How about you?  I’d love to hear how you have experienced the presence of the Lord in your life?

In the mean time…

Joy to You!


 

A Walk Through Galatians – Day 12

galatians31_photoSometimes when I read Scripture, I have to back up and look at the passage just before it.  That is what we need to do today.  Let’s look at Galatians 3:5 again and then move into verses 6-9: 

5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith  — 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?  7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”  9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

When my daughter and I read this passage together, I asked her what her thoughts on it were.  She said, “Well, Abraham is known for his faith!” Isn’t that the truth?  Throughout the Old and New Testament, Abraham is mentioned.  We hear of his obedience to God.  We hear of his faith in what God was doing.  One of my favorite verses in the account of Abraham is Genesis 22:5.  This is where we read of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his only – and long awaited – son, Isaac.  The entire account is a testimony to who Abraham was but this one verse, in my opinion, sums up his faith.

Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”

Abraham had the faith that God would provide the lamb for the sacrifice. We see that a little further down in Genesis 22:8.   I remember when it hit me that, in verse 5, Abraham said “the boy and I”.  It was an epiphany moment for me.  And throughout Scripture, that faith has been “counted to him as righteousness”.  It’s what he’s known for.  It’s his legacy.

I could write and write about legacy.  Maybe I will someday.  For now, I’ll close asking the Lord to help me to leave a legacy of faith.

Until tomorrow…..Joy to You!

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A Walk Through Galatians ~ Day 2

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Today I am just going to jump right into the Scripture.  We are looking at Galatians 1: 6-9:

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

Aren’t we so much like the people in the church of Galatia?

We turn to and fro, wandering like the children of Israel in the desert.

We listen to what pleases us.  And then we follow.

The gospel is hard.  But the grace that comes with it.  Oh, how marvelous it is.

How can I, as a professing believer in my Lord and Savior, be so complacent?  And yet I am.

It reminds me of the song “Come thy Fount” by Robert Robinson.  His story of wandering and redemption is beautiful.  You can read it HERE where I wrote about it last year in my 31 day series on hymns of praise.

We live in a culture where the gospel is definitely being distorted.  In a world where what God created and designed is being refashioned and relabeled to suit our own selfish, and I might add, sinful desires.  We are “deserting Him who called us in the grace of Christ”.

On Wednesday evenings, our church Bible study class is studying David Platt’s book Counter Culture.  As I am studying these topics so relevant to today’s culture, I see how blatantly the gospel really is being morphed into whatever we want it to be.    As I read the verses in Galatians, I am reminded of the topics discussed by Platt in Counter Culture.

Here’s the thing, that grace that He gives is free.  Let me say it again.  It’s FREE.  And yet, our society is very quick to turn from it.

Where does that leave me…..and maybe you too?

As my daughter and I discussed these verses she said, “Well, we just need to accept God’s grace and not stray from it!”

That’s it.  And that’s my prayer………..staying true to the gospel……daily accepting the grace of Christ.  I am praying that for you too.  Until tomorrow………..

Joy to You!

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I Shouldn’t Be Surprised!! (A Think on These Things post)

 

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We are a month into school now and maybe it’s my age but I’m having a harder time getting into routine this year.
The past three years of homeschooling started with excitement for the kids and for me.
But not this year.
The past three years I have had lesson plans done early in the summer.
But not this year.
I’m not really sure why it’s this way.  We had a really good, but really busy summer.  (I still want to blog about our summer…….maybe someday).  I am excited about the curriculum changes, and choices, that I made this year.  AND I was ready for the year to get off to a rolling start.  We started, we just weren’t rolling.  We made it through the first week.  Slowly.
The 2nd week, co-op started.  We were all excited to be back in the routine of co-op.  And we were glad to see our friends and all the perks that come with the co-op.
But with the next few weeks also came attitudes and words that just made my heart hurt.  After a deep breath and a short prayer, I realized that I shouldn’t be surprised when things get hard. We had just studied 1 Peter in Sunday school where Scripture reminded me that the enemy prowls around waiting to devour.  He wants our families, our marriages, our children.  He wants our homeschool classrooms.  Why?  Because in my homeschool classroom, first and foremost, I want my children to see the hand of God in every subject.  God is all in math, science, history, art, music, and even grammar.  I mean think about it.  He spoke the world into existence.  That covers all the subjects in one fail swoop!  Our curriculum speaks of God.  And well, the enemy doesn’t want my kids to think about God.
So the pull and temptation for the things of the world are prevalent and those things can be appealing to all of us.  And unfortunately that pull and temptation is often stronger to our kids that we have encouraged to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind.  Our kids are young and curious.  They were created by God to learn and grow.  And I have to face the fact that things that are different from our everyday routine will rouse curiosity and could be tempting.  Facing that fact doesn’t mean I have to give in to the things that cause a rift here and there in our homeschool day.
Today I read Proverbs 3:5-6.  What a blessing to see the promises of God when my heart is heavy.  To be reminded that when I trust in Him with all my heart and lean not to my understanding; and IF I acknowledge Him in all my ways, He will make my path straight.
So when temptation comes.  When I feel the enemy prowling, I will trust in Him.  I will acknowledge Him.
I pray that your school year – whether homeschool, private school, or public school – is full of the blessings of the Lord!
Joy to You!

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Last chance to enter ………..

Today is the last day to enter the very special giveaway of incredible books — a $160 value — announced here back on November 15th.  The giveaway is to celebrate the launch of Nicole Halbrooks Vaughn’s first two books in her Devotions from the Torah Series: Devotions from Genesis and Devotions from Exodus Part One
This giveaway is hosted by The Devotions from the Torah Launch Team.  Once again, I would like to extend thanks, on behalf of the launch team, to the generous sponsors of this giveaway.  Be sure to stop by their websites to say thank you!
To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. One winner will be selected and announced by noon ET on December 5, 2013. U.S. residents age 18 and older only please. Other Terms and Conditions can be found in the Rafflecopter.
 
For a recap of exactly what you could win, click here.

 
 
And here’s the Rafflecopter : 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Thanks for joining me and I do hope that you win!
Joy to You!

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